Insider's Guide: Top 5 Outdoor Activities in Fort Collins, Colorado
In the spirit of keeping up with my “Insider Friday” blog post plan, I’ve compiled the five best outdoor activities to do in Fort Collins. If you missed it, last Friday, I wrote about what to do in a day while you’re in town.
I wanted to dive a bit deeper for you outdoorsy folk, though. Many who visit Colorado come because they want to experience something outside, which is very warranted. We do have some breathtaking views. If you’re planning a trip to Fort Collins, or even considering relocation, check out what you can expect to get from our nature scene. The following are in no particular order; they are all amazing.
#1 - Hike Horsetooth
Horsetooth Rock is located on the west side of Horsetooth Reservoir, and you can see it from almost anywhere in the city. Many wonder about this rock that is literally shaped like a tooth. Well, it turns out, you can actually climb it. If you start at the base of the trail, you’ll get there and back in five miles, with some minor rock scaling at the end. The view is unbeatable! For those wanting an easier hike, you can loop the Horsetooth Falls trail in just over two miles, and get a pretty lagoon view.
#2 - Check out the reservoir
Every summer, Horsetooth Reservoir offers itself to the water lover. Swimming is my favorite activity here, although I only recommend doing that in July, August, or September as the water is arctic in any other month. Boating is another summer favorite for many. There are also many spots for a picnic and great trails for hiking. When it snows, bring your snowshoes and enjoy hiking all the same!
#3 - Bike the trails
With over thirty miles of multi-use trails, Fort Collins is definitely known for their bike culture. My favorite is the Poudre Trail, which follows the river beautifully. There are many other options to choose from, as well. If you get tired of biking along one of our wonderful paved paths, try out road biking instead. There are over two-hundred-eighty miles of bike-friendly roads in the city.
#4 - Tube the Poudre
This summer activity is truly one of the most enjoyable ways to cool off. Buy a black rubber river tube at Jax Mercantile, and park at Sheilds Street River Access. Hop in your tube, and follow it down the Poudre River until signs tell you to exit. Get out, walk a half-mile or so back to the start, and do it all over again. And again. Until you’re so tired that you can’t move. A word of warning - I would only recommend doing this activity in July, August, and early September. Not only because of water temperatures, but because in June, the river is usually too swollen to safely tube. Read more about river safety here, and you’ll be set for an extraordinarily fun time!
#5 - Hit up City Park
There are quite a few parks in Fort Collins, but City Park is definitely the most frequented. Whether you want to play a game of ultimate-frisbee, or walk/run around the lake, this is the place to go. While you’re at it, bring a loaf of bread and feed the ducks. In the summer, there is a pool that offers fairly cheap admission, and it even has a lazy river!
After reading through these, you may be thinking - while all these are good and fun, what do I do in the winter? The answer is - most of the above! Aside from swimming and tubing, a lot of Coloradoans do these activities year round.
You may also be wondering - what about skiing and snowboarding? These are definitely the activities that most Coloradoans do in the winter, however, you cannot do them right in Fort Collins. No worries though - drive a couple of hours west and you’ll find plenty of spots for that.
If these outdoor ideas proved helpful for you, let me know in the comments below! And as always, I wish you safe travels, and I hope you enjoy Colorado.