Hidden amidst the scenic outskirts of Fort Collins, Colorado, the Poudre River Trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty, technical challenges, and solitude. With a moderate distance of 10 miles and an intermediate level rating, this loop-type trail has something for every mountain biking enthusiast.
To reach this natural hideaway, head north out of Fort Collins on Hwy 287. Take a left at the Poudre Canyon turnoff (Ted's Place) and continue for 10 miles up the canyon. The trail sits on the north side of the road between mile markers 112 & 111, just after Poudre Park.Recent Update: A parking lot has been added. Drive across the bridge off HWY 14 to access it.
Starting from the bridge over the Poudre River, the trail heads north into a gulch, then gradually ascends through winding paths and meadows. It's smooth and fairly easy—most riders won't have to dismount and push.
At the top of the meadow, riders face a decision. Turn back for a more leisurely ride or continue to tackle the steep rocky section ahead. If opting for the latter, prepare for expert-level riding or walking.
The loop at the top brings its own set of choices. The left branch offers a brisk downhill ride through the prairie, while the right branch is currently overgrown with several fallen trees. Several riders mentioned creek crossings, some as deep as two feet. They add an element of excitement but can also break your momentum.
The Poudre River Trail may not be in many guide books, but it's a local favorite. With its varying terrain, multiple creek crossings, and the tranquil beauty of nature, it offers a satisfying challenge for riders who dare to explore it.