Loveland Recreation Trail

Colorado

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Loveland Recreation Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Larimer
Length: 18.6 miles
Trail end points: W. 57th St. and N. Taft Ave. and Peakview Commercial Park west of US 287
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6744102
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Loveland Recreation Trail Description

The Loveland Recreation Trail encircles the "Gateway to the Rockies," offering views of the mountains and access to many of Loveland's natural treasures. While the trail is mostly complete, there are some on-road connecting segments.

Much of the trail follows the Big Thompson River, passing through Centennial Park, Fairgrounds Park, and Seven Lakes Park, each offering drinking fountains, restrooms, places to picnic, and other recreational amenities. For those traveling with children, Fairgrounds Park is especially worth a stop with its sprayground, skate park, athletic fields, playgrounds, and interesting sculptures. The trail also provides access to Boyd Lake State Park, a popular spot for sailing, swimming, fishing, and other water sports.

On the western side of Loveland, the trail travels through agricultural landscapes and residential areas, as well as Mehaffey Park.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking can be found at the community parks along the trail: Centennial Park (977 W. 1st Street), Fairgrounds Park (700 S. Railroad Avenue) and Seven Lakes Park (1975 Park Drive). Parking can also be found in Boyd Lake State Park (3720 N. County Road 11), although a day pass is required to enter the park.

Loveland Recreation Trail Reviews

Rode this trail Aug 27th 2018, it forms a loop 21+ mile loop around Loveland Co. The eastern part of the trail is excellent as it goes north from US 34 through the seven lakes area and continues along the west shore of Boyd Lake. At the north end of Boyd Lake the trail splits. The Loveland loop heads straight west for 2-3 miles and passes under highway 287. (Optionally, one can turn north and connect to the Ft Collins trails). This part of the trail is in excellent condition, fully paved and 12 feet wide. Once under 287 the trail itself heads west for about 1/2 mile where it ends. At this point one can ride or walk along about 100 yards or so of dirt to 57th street. 57th street is busy and has no bike lane, but now there is only about 300 yards along 57th street to the new long view trail parking lot. (Optionally, one can ride along 57th street from 287 to the long view trail parking lot, a distance of 1/2 mile or more). The long view trail opened on Aug. 18th 2018 and connects the west side Loveland trails with the Ft Collins trails. It follows along Taft ave in Loveland which is Shields in Ft Collins. So, at this point one can choice to go north on the long view trail to Ft Collins or go south along the west side of Loveland to complete the loop around Loveland. To go south one crosses to the southwest corner of 57th street and Taft ave where the trail continues south. This part of the trail is in excellent condition, paved and 12 feet wide. There is a short section along Wilson avenue that is bike lane instead of trail, but the trail picks up again and continues south where it goes under US 34. At the “T” turn left (east) and continue to Namaque Ave. Here the pavement ends but the trail continues straight along the canal on dirt to Wilson. Turn south along Wilson and then under Wilson where the trail heads straight east along the Thompson River and into RxR park, go around the north end of the park and then swing south. The path will turn east again and go under highway 287 and swing north, up the hill and onto Washington Street. The stretch along Washington is only 1/2 mile long to 1st street. Cross 1st street, and continue east to the Chilson Center where is turns straight north, across 4th street and continue north under Madison street and then across Boise and back to US 34. For the remainder of 2018 Wilson is under construction and access to the trail at Wilson is closed. So, at Namaque Ave, turn south on Namaque to 1st street, east on 1st street to Dotsero Dr, north on Dotsero through a neighborhood where there is access to the trail again. Parking is available at the Walmart on highway 34 & Denver Ave, at the Chilson Center, at the RxR park, at Mehaffey Park, and on the street in many other locations along the trail. This will be a great trail once finished, but for now it still has a couple of rough spots.

This is a bike ROUTE, NOT a bike TRAIL. Over 1/3 of this trail is on road. And not residential roads. These are busy thoroughfare's and I do not recommend for anyone who is not familiar or comfortable riding in traffic with cars, trucks, semi's, construction vehicles, and buses. I started at 57th Street trail head and it's basically random sidewalks intermixed with road with a tunnel that passes underneath highway 34 until you get to the Boyd Lake area of the trail. I ride bike trails to get out of traffic and this is not out of traffic.

I've done this trail on a double drop longboard. I've done sections of this trail many times and have only done the full loop once. I'm reviewing the full loop and give it four stars because it's not finished. When we started we parked at Boyd Lake which costs $8 to park which is kind of a bummer. We went clockwise around the whole loop and my GPS said we did 20.5 miles. There's a couple of tricky spots to navigate but not a big deal since they are short spots. The first spot is when you get to Wilson Ave. where the trail ends at 8th St. Head West on 8th and continue all the way to the end. 8th St. changes names to Imperial Ridge Dr then Zachary Dr. Once you've reached then end of Zachary walk through a short field and down towards the creek so as not to trespass. Once you've reached Namaqua Rd. the concrete trail begins again and you know are starting the second leg of the trail. You'll take the trail to its end at W 57th St. which is the worst part of the loop. 57th St. is a busy road with little to no shoulder and dangerous to pedestrians. Once you cross the rail road tracks you can access the trailer park and use S. Berry Dr. to make you way to Hwy. 287 (Garfield Ave.) Now the path begins again and you are on your way back to Boyd. This path in either direction offers fun little downhill sections that are great fun on a longboard. Our top speed never exceeded 20mph.

Accordion

We rode the entire length of the trail and enjoyed much of it. The Boyd Lake area is especially pleasant. Since the trail is not complete, it seemed to leave us wondering how to connect to the next completed section. Signage needs improvement, especially since the trail is not finished. The section along 57th Street was a nightmare, with no bike lane on a very busy road. The anticipated completion of this section will be a great improvement, whenever that happens.

East Portion - Park at 1st and Monroe, ride west to end at Wilson Ave, turn around and ride to the east end at the top of Boyd Lake, turn around and return to start - 15 miles. Mostly flat, except for the hill up to 1st St from the river. A variety of scenery from neighborhoods to lake views. The west portion (Eisenhower to 57ST) is not easily accessible from the east portion. You have to climb a steady hill on Wilson Ave. The west portion is a combination of open fields and neighborhoods.

Beautiful ride along a good size lake, farmland, along a river, etc.

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