Fossil Creek Trail


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Fossil Creek Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Larimer
Length: 8.7 miles
Trail end points: Spring Creek Trail at Spring Canyon Community Park and Carpenter Road
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7155645
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Fossil Creek Trail Description

The Fossil Creek Trail offers over 8 miles of paved pathway (in two disconnected segments) on the south side of Fort Collins, a college town at the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

The western segment begins in Spring Canyon Community Park, a nice place to picnic amongst wild flowers and cottonwood trees. It also offers a 2-acre dog park and Inspiration Playground, a state-of-the-art play area that was designed to be handicap accessible and includes sensory-rich structures for visually-impaired and hearing-impaired children.

From there, the trail travels southeast for about 3 miles to S. Shields Street. Mid-way, a short spur will take you up to Fromme Prairie Way to access the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, a mixture of wetland and grassland habitat for native plants and animals. Keep a lookout for prairie dogs, raptors, horned lizards, rabbits, coyotes and snakes.

The eastern half of the trail runs about 2 miles between S. College Avenue (US 287) and Fossil Creek Park. On your way through the park, you'll travel along the serene and scenic Portner Reservoir. The northern end of the park is busier with its many recreational amenities, including ballfields, tennis and basketball courts, a roller-hockey rink, a skateboarding area and a playground with a prehistoric theme.

On the western side of S. College Avenue, you can catch the Mason Trail to head north to the doorstep of Colorado State University. In Spring Canyon Community Park, you can also connect to the Spring Creek Trail to go east across the city.

A disconnected segment of trail extends between Lemay Avenue and Carpenter Road.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking can be found in Spring Canyon Community Park (2626 W. Horsetooth Road), Fossil Creek Park (5821 S. Lemay Avenue) and the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area (on Fromme Prairie Way).

Fossil Creek Trail Reviews

Did the western section of this trail only and as an earlier reviewer noted, it is beautiful. It is rare to get such a nice paved (concrete) trail in the open grasslands. During its meandering course, it is relatively far from roads/houses until you get near to the western end. Though overall it climbs from east to west, the path winds and undulates in tune with the landscape making it fun and interesting traveling in both directions.

The farther west part of this trail is beautiful. You're near the front range of the Rockies and the trail is fairly well marked.

Starting at Fossil Creek Park on Lemay Ave., head west on the Fossil Creek Trail, then north on the Mason Trail, then east on Spring Creek trail, then south on Power trail, then back to the start at Fossil Creek park, you can make a 13 mile South Ft Collins Loop.

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