Fort Collins has several trails for biking, walking, jogging, or skating. The trails are about 10 feet wide concrete and have very few street level crossings. They are maintained year round and snow is removed from the trails during the winter months. Trails serve as commuter routes for many students and residents as well. The beautiful scenery that can be enjoyed along the system often makes one forget that they are in urban Fort Collins. Here is a condensed listing of the trails in the Fort Collins area.
The Power Trail runs north and south and access is less than a quarter mile from the Waterford Inn. About 1.5 miles to the north is Edora Park and the connection to Spring Creek Trail. Going south, it follows the west side of the Union Pacific Railroad past two golf courses to Trilby Road. From there it can connect with Fossil Creek Trail or continue south through a wetlands to Carpenter Road. Future phases will extend to Loveland’s trail system. The Power Trail runs about 1.5 miles north from the Waterford, and about 4.0 miles to the south.
The Poudre Trail meanders along the northwest to east side of town following the scenic Poudre River for 10.1 miles. It runs the gamut from prairie, to riverside, to parkland, to woods, to views of downtown and Odell and New Belgium Breweries. Expansion of this trail east toward I-25 is expected over the next several years.
The Spring Creek Trail follows Spring Creek for 6.9 miles. It can be accessed about 1.5 miles north from Waterford and runs east to the Poudre River where it joins the Poudre Trail. To the west, this highly popular trail continues through several parks across central Fort Collins and the Mason Trail to the west side of town where it becomes the north end of Fossil Creek Trail. A short ride yields Rally King Brewing, but for another mile you can have Black Bottle Brewery.
A special purpose ride can combo Power – Spring Creek – Poudre – Lincoln Avenue to visit Funkwerks, Horse and Dragon Brewing, or Fiesty Spirits Distillery.
The Mason Trail serves as a convenient north-south route in the central core of Fort Collins and is maintained by the Streets Department. While not necessarily scenic, it serves as a useful connection through town and provides easy access to several destinations like Hardihood Brewing, Black Bottle Brewery, 1933 Brewing, or Zwei Brewing. Adjacent to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad corridor, the trail offers a solution to improve safety and mobility for cyclists and pedestrians traveling north and south in the city and is 3.5 miles long. This trail connects to the other trails located within the city, such as the Spring Creek Trail and the Fossil Creek Trail.
The Foothills Trail is a 6.8 mile earthen trail that travels along the foothills parallel to Horsetooth Reservoir from Dixon Reservoir at Pine Ridge Natural Area to Reservoir Ridge Natural Area and Michand Lane. This trail is on rugged terrain.
The Fossil Creek Trail runs along the south and west sides of town through the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area along Fossil Creek. A short ride on quiet neighborhood streets connects the trail segments between Shields Street and College Avenue. This segment will open as right-of-ways are established and construction finishes. The Fossil Creek Trail is 5.2 paved miles.
The Poudre River Trail Corridor is just southeast of Ft. Collins and runs for 21 miles from Windsor to Greeley. Midway it has the Kodak Watchable Wildlife Area Trailhead and the ride can be book-ended with High Hops Brewery in Windsor on the west and WeldWorks Brewing in Greeley on the east.