Best Bicycle Trails Around Fort Collins – Paul’s Top Five
Fort Collins is one of the most bike friendly places on the planet. Because of that, there is no shortage of great bike trails that we can use to scoot around town. Whether it is strictly for transportation, enjoyment, or to get you from one great fishing spot to the next along the Cache la Poudre River, the paved bike trails in Fort Collins are pristine, so I thought I'd list the best bicycle trails around Fort Collins, or the best sections of those trails.
Poudre Trail West of Taft Hill Road
This section of the beloved Poudre Trail links Fort Collins to Laporte and features one of the most photogenic sections of the whole trail. It meanders away from the river briefly and rolls through the plains near some power lines and small reservoirs. As it rejoins and crosses the Poudre River, it is on a spectacular bridge that has 4 angles in its construction. After the bridge you'll cross Overland Trail and into to Lions Park and Open Space, where the trail continues along the Poudre for more great sites and views.
This trail is a thoroughfare for the commuter that goes north to south, or vice versa. It starts at Prospect just west of College and continues all the way south parallel to Mason Street until it makes a turn to the east and connects with Fossil Creek Trail well past Harmony Road. It is a great trail for running errands anyplace along College Avenue, and offers easy, safe crossings along the cross streets with access to all the shops that the "non-Old Town" business section of Fort Collins has to offer.
Spring Creek Trail
Spring Creek Trail is a true gem and is definitely one of the best bicycle trails around Fort Collins. It gives access to no fewer than 5 parks and natural areas, 2 skateparks, a bmx playpark, many of the Fort Collins softball and baseball fields, an acclaimed disc golf course, and the very center of Fort Collins. Highlights include; the westernmost portion of the trail near and in Spring Canyon Community Park, the section around College Avenue where you can stop and get a soft serve at Dairy Queen and eat it near the trail, and the Edora Park section, where the creek widens into little pond type sections, frequented by ducks and other interesting water fowl.
Poudre Trail - From Lemay to Environmental Learning Center
This section truly has a 'wild' feel to it. Canopies of cottonwoods cover some parts, closing in on the trail and giving it an entirely different feel than almost anywhere on the paved trail system in Fort Collins. Anglers can find more solitude here than in the sections north and west of Old Town, as these waters see less traffic. Cruising by the Timberline interchange, you'll gain an appreciation for the fact that Fort Collins builds such nice on and off access and to these beautiful trails. After utilizing another underpass under Prospect, the trail moves into the Environmental Learning Center section. There are a few small lakes/ponds with benches to sit and view the varied wildlife. In winter, seeing a bald eagle would not be out of the question here. Great Blue Herons can be seen here quite often, as well as many other bird types. The trail ends at Colorado State's Environmental Learning Center. There is plenty to learn and see here, and the best way to get there is by bicycle.
Poudre Trail - College to Shields
Soon, this section of the trail will boast the brand new Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center as a part of it. Heading north from the Museum site, dogs have space to frolic in the wide open Lee Martinez Park. Beyond that, the trail rejoins and parallels the Poudre River. In the summer, you'll see tubers galore. At all times of the year, fly fishers cast lines across the beautiful heart of the City of Fort Collins, the Cache la Poudre River. On the south side is the paved trail. On the north, there is a dirt trail that allows hikers and mountain bikers to take a loop around a few ponds. This section is truly one of Fort Collins finest.