While Fort Collins is mainly known for its scenic Old Town area and wonderful brewery and restaurant selection, it also is a wonderful place to visit if you’re someone that loves outdoor adventure. Whether you’re a climber, rafter, hiker, or outdoor enthusiast in general, Fort Collins has a way for everyone to find their place outdoors. One outdoor activity that Fort Collins is less known for is biking. That’s a shame because there really is a huge selection of incredible mountain biking trails within 30 minutes of the city center.
In this guide, we’ve compiled the top 5 best biking trails in/near Fort Collins, CO. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, make sure to read them all because there is something for everyone in this list.
Starting off this list is the very beautiful and conveniently located Foothills Trail. This route has become a local favorite for after work rides due to its close proximity to town and relatively short riding distance. This trail also has terrific views of Fort Collins from above that you’ll certainly want to stop for.
You’ll begin the ride at the Maxwell Natural Area trailhead, only 10 minutes from Old Town. From there, you can ride up some smooth flowing switchbacks until you cross the road into a parking lot overlooking Horsetooth reservoir.
There is a trail to the Northwest that will take you down to the water. Be aware that a quarter mile into this trail there is a sharp left turn that leads into a large stair set that you may want to walk. Beyond that you will reach a swimming and picnic area where you can ride up and cross the road in order to head back. All in all this is a 6 mile loop and is best suited for Intermediate and Advanced riders.
The Poudre River Trail is one of Northern Colorado’s longest, most iconic pathways. It follows the Poudre River from Laporte, Colorado all the way to Greeley. It is also the only paved path on this list. This is a fantastic option for kids, beginner bikers, or anyone looking for any easy ride along a lovely riverfront. There are many places to start and end this bike ride but we recommend beginning at the Shields Street River Access lot and heading east. From there you can ride as long as you would like before turning around. This route will take you through Old Town by the river park and by a number of Fort Collins breweries.
Just south of Horsetooth reservoir is the Blue Sky Trail, a long intermediate trail that traverses you through beautiful orange bluffs and a serene mountain valley. You can ride this trail all the way to Loveland if you would like, but we recommend connecting it to the Indian Summer loop to make this a clean 11 mile ride. Blue Sky is our go to trail for intermediate riders as it has a lot of fun rocky features but none that are too extreme. Not to mention it has some of the best views of any trail on this list!
On the northwest end of Horsetooth reservoir is Lory State Park, a beautiful outdoor space with options for all kinds of explorers to enjoy the outdoors. Linking much of this park through its beautiful valley are the Lory Valley Trails.
Overall, it is an easy ride with gentle climbs and fast flowing downhills. If you are looking to dip your toe into the world of mountain biking, this is the perfect place to start. And if you are in need of a bike, make sure to check out the selection of locally owned mountain bikes for rent on Quiptu.
We recommend starting these trails at the Lory Mountain Bike Park and riding up the West Valley trail first. Once you get to the end of this trail you can choose to head back on the East Valley trail or extend the ride one the South Valley trail before heading back. In total you will 7.5 if you include the South Valley trail or 5 miles without it. As an added bonus you can goof around in the bike park once you finish your ride!
With a name like “Supreme Loop” this ride was destined to be our number one pick. This loop connects many of the biking trails in the Horsetooth Mountain area and is recommended only for experienced mountain bikers. You’ll spend most of your climbs going up old fire roads and most of your descents biking over winding single track and VERY rocky terrain.
The route starts at the Horsetooth Mountain parking lot where you’ll begin climbing the South Ridge trail until you reach the Wathans trail where you’ll take a right and begin your first descent. When this trail ends, take a left onto the Spring Creek Trail and then a right onto The Herrington trail shortly after. The Herrington trail will take you up to the beginning of the Stout trail for a fun flowy descent down to the Towers trail where you’ll take a left. The Towers trail is another fire road that will really test your cardio. Once Towers flattens out, you’ll be able to take a left to get back on the Spring Creek Trail.
This is the longest and most fun descent of the whole ride and will take you to the Soderberg Connector Trail that will connect with the South Ridge Trail and back to the lot. While this may be a complicated route, it is such a fun one. The climbs are brutal but the descents are the most exciting trills you’ll find in the area. When all is said and done, this is an 11 mile loop that we highly recommend for advanced mountain bikers.
If you’re traveling from out of town or don’t own the right bike, it is likely you will need to rent a bike in order to enjoy the trails in this guide. We recommend checking out the gear available for rent in Fort Collins on Quiptu. Here you can rent mountain, road, and commuter bikes from the local owners who know their gear and the area best. Just head to our homepage and start searching for the perfect gear for your next adventure!