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A Balanced Colorado Lifestyle

10 Accessible Northern Colorado Hikes for Novice Hikers

Article by Susan McKenzie

Photography by Taryn Ashlee Photography

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

Balance Health has a mission to aid in disease prevention through physician-directed and scientifically proven training methods. They focus their attention on adults looking to function better in their daily activities and feel less pain while doing so, but also find great joy in working with children and teaching them how to take care of themselves. The whole basis is to work on keeping people healthy and preventative care so they do not have to deal with chronic diseases later in life. 

The clinic was founded by Dr. Frank Morgan in 2014, after a career in public healthcare that left him dissatisfied with the level of care he could provide due to time constraints. Balance Health is the fulfillment of a long-held dream for Dr. Morgan and represents his vision towards providing the highest quality medical service. He and his Family Nurse Practitioner, Jennifer Wenning, focus on an integrative approach to medicine, incorporating overall wellness tactics with traditional medicine in a more timely manner.

“People would be waiting for months to see us in the big system…” Jennifer recollected, “ Balance Health, people can usually see us in the same day or day after and we have a good team in place to quickly take care of things.” 

“Part of our practice is to get people comfortable with exercise,” Jennifer said, commenting on how mental health has become a more mainstream topic since the pandemic hit and how exercise can positively impact that.

“Nature is one of my biggest recommendations when talking to patients about mental health. Take advantage of what Colorado has to offer.”

Jennifer has been personally enjoying the benefits of Colorado through hiking with her husband and two kids. “Balance Health is a 24-hour on-call clinic so we always have connectivity with our patients. When I’m not on call and I have the opportunity, it’s nice to get outside and disconnect and be away from technology.” With so many opportunities for great hikes nearby, Jennifer helped us narrow it down to the top 10 in Northern Colorado. Most of them are easily accessible and can be done with kids as well.


  • Poudre River Trail 
  • Signature Bluffs Natural Area

Estes Park

  • Nymph Lake Trail

  • Twin Sisters - A little steep for the kids

  • Crosier Mountain Rainbow Trailhead (Drake) - There are trees the whole way and it is a great hike for when it’s really hot down here


  • Devil’s Backbone - Very easy with kids but little shade - bring a lot of water with you

  • Mehaffey Park - Not really a hike, but it’s great for families! There’s a lot to do, and it’s close when you need a change of scenery


  • Ceran St. Vrain (Ward) - A favorite for kids and has a pretty little stream

  • Greyrock Summit Trail (Laporte) - Has a lot of trees and is very shaded

With all of these being fairly easy hikes, they would be great options for novice hikers.

“If you are new to hiking, don’t forget to have good, supportive shoes, sunscreen and a few snacks and water,” she suggested. “Take a little backpack that can hold everything you need, and remember that it’s not how fast you can get to the top.” 

Whatever type of activities you decide to do this summer, Balance Health is here to support your wellness journey. They are taking new patients that range from individuals to families and also work with businesses to give discounted rates to employees and family members. With a subscription-based model, this primary care business is a very affordable option to receive individualized healthcare for the whole family.

  • Jenner, her husband Kevin, and their kids Ellis and Iva, hiking at Signature Bluffs Natural Area
  • Ellis and Iva hiking at Signature Bluffs Natural Area
  • Dr. Frank Morgan with pediatric patient.
  •  Keith Carlisle, Haylee Kramer, Stephanie Chavers, Kyle Taplin, Dr. Frank Morgan, and Jennifer Wenning, FNP-BC
  • Jennifer Wenning, FNP-BC

“People would be waiting for months to see us in the big Balance Health, people can usually see us in the same day or day after.” 

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