The Longmont-to-Boulder Regional Trail (nicknamed the LOBO) extends more than 10 miles between these two major cities and taps into the region's vast network of trails. Most of the pathway has a gravel surface best for hybrids and mountain bikes.
It begins off Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont and follows the Left Hand Creek southwest through commercial and residential areas. Here, trail-goers can connect to the St. Vrain Greenway
, an 8-mile trail across the city offering spectacular mountain scenery and lake views.
When the trail reaches the Diagonal Highway, it begins to closely follow the roadway through rural landscapes. At 83rd Street, the trail makes a sharp turn due south, shortly entering the community of Niwot. It continues through Monarch Park and makes its way toward the scenic Twin Lakes area. The trail stops at Spine Road, but a short on-road route will take you to the beginning of the Cottonwood Trail on Jay Road.
The Cottonwood Trail winds through northern Boulder for just over 3 miles. A trailhead is available in the middle of the trail at Independence Road. North of the trailhead, the pathway has a dirt surface and follows a creek. Along the way, you'll enjoy views of wide open spaces and distant mountains. South of Independence Road, the trail is paved and makes its way to 47th Street, passing Hayden Lake and the NCAR Foothills Laboratory. At 47th, you can connect to the Wonderland Creek Greenway
to travel southeast through the Kings Ridge community.
At the northern end of the trail, parking is available Kanemoto Park (Missouri Avenue and South Pratt Parkway) and Left Hand Creek Park (1800 Creekside Drive). Mid-trail, park in Lefthand Valley Grange Park (N. 83rd Street and Niwot Road). For the southern half of the trail, look for parking in the Twin Lakes recreational area. A parking area is also available for the Cottonwood Trail on the south side of Independence Road, 0.2 miles east of Diagonal Highway.
You will most likely be a lone rider and have most of the path all to yourself. The path goes by rushing streams, lush farmlands, in back of expensive luxury houses with some city streets.