Sometimes I genuinely wonder if I'm in a serious relationship with the town of Fort Collins. I feel a deep, resonating connection with this place I'm lucky enough call home. After living here for over 5 years, I'm definitely feelin' like a local and, I want to share WHY I love this place so much. Here are some of my favorite hiking spots, places to grab a bite, and more. Always feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback! I'd love to hear why you love it here too, and if you don't know why already, come find out.
A Fort Collins staple is Horsetooth Mountain. A short 10-20 minute drive from town will get you up to Horsetooth Reservoir which has countless areas to explore. With Lory State Park to the north, Horsetooth Reservoir extends 6 miles south. Paddle boarding, speed boating, and even just jumping and swimming in the lake are popular activities at the beloved Horsetooth Reservoir. One of my favorite aspects of the natural area is all the dog friendly hiking trails! Permit parking is required at all lots on Horsetooth for approximately $7 per day with annual passes available as well. More information here!
Bring your furry friends along, the trails are dog friendly (leashes required). Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes - I have seen them on the trail before. The hike to the rock is approximately 5 miles long, and worth it! The view overlooks the city and is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise.
These sunrise pictures were taken on a crisp morning hike up to the "Tooth." This nickname and namesake of the rock formation on top resembles a horse's tooth when looking from the town below. The parking lot for the trail head is located behind the reservoir (to the west) after winding along the south rim of the reservoir on W County Rd 38 E. The right turn in for the parking lot is about a half of a mile past Shoreline Drive. Daily permits are for sale at the kiosks by the restrooms to place in your windshield.
Located on the north side of Fort Collins' Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is Lory State Park. You must pay to park, but that gives you access to many trails for hiking, mountain biking, and even horseback riding. Arthur's Rock is a moderate hike up through trees, across quaint bridges over the stream, through areas of open space, and up onto the large rock overlooking Fort Collins and Horsetooth Reservoir. It is less populated than Horsetooth Rock or Horsetooth Falls hike, but the views are just as good, if not better!
Leashed dogs are allowed and daily permits must be displayed in your windshield for roughly $7 a day. To get to the parking lot, take N Co Rd 23 that runs along the east side of the reservoir to turn west onto N Co Rd 25 G (located on the north side of the reservoir). Once a permit is purchased on site or online here, take the dirt road to the final parking lot, the road will dead end at the trailhead for Arthur's Rock. Along the way are many other trails, access to the reservoir, and picnic areas.
The Poudre River runs through Fort Collins and is a joy for all. I mean, c'mon, check out that puppy's face! It winds through neighborhoods, by New Belgium and Odell breweries (if you need a quick beer break), and expansively opens to hidden pockets of wilderness all along its stretches. Its multipurpose use and wide lanes allow for bikers, runners, and mammals of all kinds to run and play. I especially love the stretch between Timberline Rd to and all around Lee Martinez Park. Popular and loved by all, the Poudre River Trail is a vital and beautiful aspect of our home.
The Poudre River's survival is crucial, to learn how to do your part to preserve its beauty, visit SaveThePoudre.org !