Two of the key reasons people visit and move to Fort Collins are the amazing outdoor spaces and the plethora of recreational opportunities present in the area. If you are looking for adventure, the following attractions in Fort Collins will suit your needs.
Water sports can be both thrilling and relaxing, especially in Cache La Poudre River Canyon. The only designated “Wild & Scenic” river in the state, it flows down from the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range, through Fort Collins, until it reaches the South Platte River.
If you love the water and would like to take up the challenge of tackling changing currents and maintaining control of your small vessel, Poudre River offers plenty of challenge. You can go kayaking and canoeing, but most people go for river rafting as the river has Class I to Class VI rapids.
The best time to go river rafting in Poudre River is from May through August. In the winter, Poudre Canyon is a great spot for snowshoeing.
Horsetooth Mountain’s expansive, scenic landscape (it covers 2,711 acres) offers approximately 29 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails, most of which enjoy fantastic views of the Front Range. It is also home to the famous Horsetooth Rock, seen from any point in Fort Collins. In the spring, Horsetooth Falls gushes.
The trails at Horsetooth Mountain are of varying difficulty and lengths. It is wise to plan your trip ahead, as entrance permits are required. Visit Larimer County’s page here to download the trail map.
If you are not up to do some climbing, you can explore the Horsetooth Reservoir, especially during the height of summer. Popular activities here include sailing, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, camping, and swimming. There are also trails around the reservoir, perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Located northwest of Fort Collins and next to the Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park offers about 26 miles of trails suitable for hiking, horseback riding, biking, and trail running. The rolling landscape will take you up the hillsides and down to scenic canyons. Backcountry camping is also permitted here.
Horsetooth Reservoir can be accessed via the trails to the east side of the park. Besides the popular canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding activities, you can also try power boating at the Horsetooth Dam boat ramp. Alternatively, head for the nearby Boyd Lake State Park that has a sandy beach and swimming pavilion for visitors.
Located in the Rawah Wilderness Area, Blue Lake Trail runs for approximately 10.3 miles. It provides a breath-taking view of Rawah’s magnificent granite peaks. Here the glaciers left behind 26 pristine lakes of varied sizes, healthily populated by rainbow and brook trout.
To get to the Blue Lake Trailhead, you need to use the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. Click here to learn more about the trail.
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