We have cultivated quite the bike culture here in Fort Collins.
Just take a look at Bike Fort Collins, an organization dedicated to uniting Northern Colorado in building a world-class community, committed to cycling for transportation, recreation, and social good. One of the more obvious ways they do this is with their bi-annual Bike to Work Day and their participation in New Belgium Brewing Company’s Tour de Fat.
If you visit a local brewery in Fort Collins, you’ll notice quite the crowd of bikes parked outside, as Fort Collins is increasing in bikeability and bike road safety, largely because of organizations like Bike Fort Collins and the City of Fort Collins’ FC Bikes. And besides, Northern Colorado has the best weather for biking — even in the winter.
Most recently, Fort Collins launched a Bike Share program with Zagster, where you can borrow one of their cruiser bikes from any of the bike stations, ride it around town, and return it at another station.
We wanted to give you a destination for you and your borrowed or owned bike this spring and beyond. And besides, May is National Bike Month! Take advantage of this city’s extreme love for bikes by exploring some of the best (mostly) urban biking trails in Fort Collins.
Foothills Trail is one of the more rugged trails from this list, as it is unpaved and involves a bit of an incline. But it is a well-traveled, moderately difficult 6.8 mile trail used by bikers, hikers, horseback-riders, and trail runners alike. And the views of Fort Collins to the east and Horsetooth to the west are completely worth the climb. Because of this trail’s popularity and proximity to Fort Collins, you may run into quite a bit of foot and horse-hoof traffic. Remember to yield to both horses and hikers while on this trail!
Fossil Creek Trail, also known as the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area Trail, is a wonderful trail for a leisurely bike ride through this wide-open natural area. The paved and well-maintained trail runs 2.4 miles one-way, stretching between Shields Street and Luther Lane in southwest Fort Collins. Don’t ride too fast that you miss the wonderful opportunities for wildlife viewing while on this trail! And perhaps best of all, riding this trail requires no usage fees and free parking.
Mason Trail runs north to south through Fort Collins, and is a common commuter trail for bikers wanting access to the city or travel to Colorado State University. The north end of the trail intersects Spring Creek Trail and the southern tip intersects with Fossil Creek Trail, so travelling along Mason Trail is a wonderful opportunity to experience all three in one trip! This 3.5-mile trail is paved, protected from motorized traffic (except for four instances where it intersects with streets), and provides a safe and efficient path for travelling Fort Collins by bike.
The 21-mile Poudre River Trail extends from Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley all the way to Colorado Highway 392 in Windsor. Hop on board this trail that runs right through Fort Collins and alongside the beautiful Poudre River. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to the wilderness without having to leave the city limits!
The Power Trail consists of two disconnected segments that travel through neighborhoods, open spaces, two parks, Collindale Golf Course, and Kruse Elementary School. This is a great way to see varied terrain and landscape via bike, while staying in the Fort Collins area. The northern tip of this trail runs right into the popular Edora Community Park, which intersects with Spring Creek Trail. Which leads us to…
Spring Creek Trail is a great trail to take your dog for a walk, as it passes through various city parks and travels along Spring Creek. This means it is also the perfect setting for a peaceful bike ride, especially since the trail is paved and relatively flat. The Spring Creek Trail travels more than 7 miles across Fort Collins, and is a common commuter path for cyclists, especially since it passes just a few blocks south of Colorado State University’s campus.
Take a virtual bike ride along Spring Creek Trail to see what you might expect during your ride…
With all of this north, south, mileage and location talk, it might be difficult to visualize the trails we’re referring to and where they land within Fort Collins’ landscape. Thankfully, the City of Fort Collins created a helpful bike trails map that indicates shared roadways, shared use trails (both paved and unpaved), various bike shops, and more!