Wow. When writing about the best Fort Collins parks, I can sincerely start by saying 'Wow'. It's that

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good. It's a top 5 list, but it's not in a particular order because on the scale of wonderful, beauty is in your eye and heart. Here we go.

Horsetooth Mountain Park - Our most famous rock formation, Horsetooth Rock watches the city of Fort Collins like a trusted sentry. Surrounding it is Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, hands down one of the best Fort Collins parks. There is rock climbing, mountain biking, road cycling, swimming in Horsetooth Reservoir, hiking and more. You could see a golden eagle. Seeing deer is the norm, not the exception. There are definitely mountain lions in the park, so obey leash laws at all times.

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The Lee Martinez - Legacy Park Combo - This area, including the area along the Poudre River, gives access to many more natural areas right nearby. The true beauty of these two is their proximity to Old Town. Lee Martinez borders Old Town on the north side. The paved trails that you can access here could take you to the 'Beer Belt' just down the street, where you'll find New Belgium, Odell, and the Fort Collins Brewery, as far west as Laporte and all the way to the CSU Environmental Learning Center in southern Fort Collins.

City Park - City Park is definitely one of the best parks in Fort Collins. The hill on the eastern side is there for those who want to just enjoy a nice grassy, quiet area. Dogs frolic. Young folks string straps between trees and tightrope walk. Renaissance enthusiasts can reach impressive numbers on some days, throwing javelins back and forth to each other, sword and hammer fighting, and they don't seem to mind when I stop and watch. There is a paved trail around the lake. In the winter, they open the ice for skating and hockey. City Park 9, the public golf course is not long or difficult, if you can hit it straight. Old trees line the holes and devour your balls.

Edora Park - Home to the Pool Ice Center as well, Edora boasts the city's disc golf course, playgrounds, and a large, very flowy, vert/tranny skate park. There are some incredible Fort Collins skaters, if you just want to go the park and see something very impressive. Fort Collins is very lucky to have Edora Skate Park and the other 3, Aztlan, Spring Canyon and Fossil Creek. Many cities have none. That would be a bummer.

Spring Canyon - Spring Canyon just feels big. It is 100 acres at a spot where you can look and say, "The

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Rocky Mountains pretty much start right there." The trails connect activity after activity, and could take you to the same network we found at Lee Martinez - Legacy. The facilities are nice and new. It's a real win-win. It also has a nice dog park where the pooches can run free, play with each other and let off some steam.

Disclaimer - I love other Fort Collins Parks. Exclusion from this list only means that I compared great to great and chose great.

What is your favorite Fort Collins park?