Poudre Trail (Fort Collins)


13 Reviews

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Poudre Trail (Fort Collins) Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Larimer
Length: 12.2 miles
Trail end points: Rist Canyon Rd. (Bellevue) and 2400 S County Rd 9 (Fort Collins)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015412

Poudre Trail (Fort Collins) Description


The Poudre Trail in Fort Collins follows the meandering course of the Poudre River between the Bellevue Watson Fish Hatchery and Colorado State University's Environmental Learning Center for 12.2 miles. The trail passes through wooded corridors and among agricultural and natural areas, small lakes and holding ponds, parks, and light industrial sites. 

About the Route

Across the entire 12.2-mile route, the trail offers a variety of sites. Heading south from Bellevue, the trail enters Lions Open Space and then across the river from the North Shields Ponds Natural Area. The trail heads into downtown Fort Collins, as well as the Lee Martinez Community Park and Springer Natural Area. The trail also crosses into the Cattail Chorus Natural Area. Just south of this, the trail comes to its southern end at the Prospect Ponds Natural Area and nearby CSU Environmental Learning Center.


At the Cattail Chorus Natural Area, the trail connects to the Spring Creek Trail (CO).

Parking and Trail Access

The Poudre Trail runs between Rist Canyon Rd. (Bellevue) and 2400 S County Rd 9 (Fort Collins), with parking available at both ends.

Parking is also available at:

  • Lions Open Space, 2425 N Overland Trail (Laporte)
  • Lee Martinez Community Park, 660 Elm St. (Fort Collins)
  • 2025 Sharp Point Dr. (Fort Collins)

See TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.


Poudre Trail (Fort Collins) Reviews

Easy trail, stunning views

The Poudre Trail’s numbers are straightforward – 10 feet wide and 12 miles long. This is not to be confused with the Poudre River Trail, which is almost 22 miles long and is in Greeley, CO. Fort Collins’ city fathers (and mothers) broke ground on the trail in 1994 and completed it in 2008. There are few bells and whistles to the trail, though it is a bit tricky finding the trailhead. It’s about a ½ mile down a dirt road off a paved cul-de-sac at the end of a road-to-nowhere, about five miles east of downtown. Once the trail is located, it starts off in what looks like a light industrial setting, but instead is an “environmental facility.”
The early stretch is mostly concrete, perhaps not environmentally friendly, but biker friendly to those who are just getting their morning bike legs. Early on, the Poudre does not appear to be a powerful river, presenting itself more like a shallow stream. Soon, the trail approaches downtown Fort Collins, much quieter during the daytime than it is at night. Later, the trail heads around a large pond. It turns out that is the town reservoir, and the reason why the Poudre River flow is so gentle. From the reservoir west, the view is outstanding, much more dramatic than the prairies east of town. And just beyond the edge of the official trail, the road starts its climb toward the Rockies.
A nationally known brewery is right off the bike trail in downtown Ft. Collins.

Great Ride and Lunch

We started at the Environment Education Center and rode to Bellvue. Even with a stronger than mild wind the scenery kept my mind off the wind. (Coming back with the wind was great!¿) On the way back we followed signs to down town And found, Tom Kha Thai Asian Bistro. What a delightful restaurant and reasonably priced for lunch. We continued through town across the college campus and found the Spring Canyon Park trail. Spring Canyon was beautiful. We found a blow snake more than half the path width! Back across town to the truck. Overall a 40 mile ride!

Nice concrete trail

I was a bit skeptical of this trail at first since it starts out quite twisty and winding with a lot of debris from the trees. It also passes a few parking lots but once that’s behind you it starts to get much nicer. There are only a couple of road crossings - the rest you go underneath the bridges with the stream that parallels much of the trail. I did most of the trail on inline skates and it worked out fine.

Nice trail

Paved trail. Mostly exposed to sun with some shade. Runs right along the river with nice views of mountains. If not from the area, there are local bike shops that rent bikes. In addition, there are restrooms and water fountains on the trail. I felt safe and enjoyed the trail.


Excellent “urban” trail

Though this trail is in the city of Fort Collins, it is hard to call it an “urban” trail as most of it twists and turns pleasantly through the pretty woodlands and open grasslands along the Poudre River. There are many parks and nature areas along the way. The sections that are in the city proper are still very nice and do not give the ugly industrial scenes or heavily residential views other urban trails usually end up providing. Except for a couple brief sections, it is not very close to roads. There are only 2 road crossings that have to be made. Trail itself was in excellent condition with some newly reopened/repaired sections. Only place where there was construction was at the far western end in Bellevue - a couple hundred yards from the end of the trail anyway.


I did this trail on a longboard. I started at N. College and the museum and went up to Bellevue. The trail is very pretty but it is very flat for a longboard, I pushed there and back. The concrete is in good condition with saw cuts for the expansion joints and the asphalt is also in good condition. Nice ride if you are looking to stay under 10 MPH.

awesome trail

Beautiful ride along the Poudre River, multiple parking locations to jump on the path in convenient locations close to town.

Best city trail

The residents of FoCo is so privileged to have such an asset. It is simply one of the best city trails for the whole family. And easy access to some of the best coffee shops and eateries.

Where to park our Kenworth 18 wheeler so we can ride this trail

We carry our bikes cross country so we can take advantage of time off and ride! Parking is a problem with our Kenworth. If there is anyone out there with parking information it would be so appreciated. Thanks!

Great trail

My wife and I rode this trail yesterday and it was a fun and easy trail to ride. There are plenty of directional signs to follow. There is still one section closed due to the spring flooding, but the detour signs are easy to follow. The detour takes you down some side streets using a bike lane. That was our first time using them and didn't feel nervous at all.
The trail meanders along the river bank and wasn't that busy with other walkers and riders. Round trip was about 26 miles. We do plan on riding this again.

Goes to Greeley now

On my last trip to Greeley I walked a section of this trail. It is now very lengthy and beautiful! I had ridden some of the sections in Fort Collins about a decade ago and found this trail to be a very nice ride.

Poudre Ft Collins

Great family outing. Flat, wide paved trail along the river, but close to town. Lots of scenery.

Poudre River Trail extension

This trail now extends 2 miles west to the Watson Lake fish hatchery and the hamlet of Bellvue.

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