The following are favorite running routes of our members. They are listed in order of increasing distances.
- Fossil Creek Reservoir (various short distances)
- Tavelli-College Ave. (2.5 miles)
- CSU Campus Loop (3.2 miles)
- Pineridge Loop (3.6 miles)
- Horsetooth Rock Trail (5.0 miles)
- Towers Rd. (6.8 miles)
- Tavelli-I25 (7.2 miles)
- Bacon Strip (10.0 miles)
- Redstone Canyon (12.8 miles)
- Old Horsetooth Half Marathon Route (13.1 miles)
- Spring Creek-Overland-Poudre Trail (20.9 miles)
Fossil Creek Reservoir
Various short distances; gravel trail; somewhat hilly. Submitted by Jan Huie.
My hubby and I have a favorite, but you won’t find any good links to it, as Fossil Creek Reservoir is jointly managed by both the city and county. The county government link will get you there, but it’s circuitous at best and not too useful.
The entrance to Fossil Creek Reservoir is near exit 262 on the interstate – or go 2 miles south on Timberline from Harmony, and then 2.5 miles east.
There is a nice, clean concrete/brick restroom. There are three trails, all somewhat hilly and composed of pea-sized gravel. One is about 0.4 miles one way to a bird blind. The other is a lollipop loop, also to a bird blind, about 1.5-1.6 miles total distance. And along the highway, just off the access road to the park, is a trail composed of pea-sized gravel, somewhat soft and spongy, that’s 1 mile long.
No dogs are allowed in the park as it is a bird sanctuary.
Also the longer trail is closed off during the winter months to protect certain nesting birds. Call for dates.
One can see all sorts of wildlife, bald eagles, ducks, etc. And the peace and quiet are incredible.
2.5 miles; flat, gravel trail.
Run along the Canal Access Rd. trail just south of Tavelli Elementary School to College Ave. and back. The trail is on the south side of the canal. This route can be combined with the Tavelli-I25 trail to make a run of 9.7 miles.
CSU Campus Loop
3.2 miles; flat. [Strava times]
A loop just over 5k around the perimeter of Colorado State University.
3.6 miles; semi-technical trail; flat with a few gradual uphills. [Strava times]
Horsetooth Rock Trail (a.k.a. Red Cliff Rd. Climb)
5.0 miles; trail; hilly. [Strava times for the 1.8-mile uphill segment]
A classic run (hike) from the main Horsetooth Mountain Park parking lot to Horsetooth Rock and back.
6.8 miles from/to Soderberg parking lot. Smooth dirt trail; very hilly. [Strava times for the 3.1-mile uphill segment]
A Category 2 climb in Horsetooth Mountain Park, meaning that it is steep.
The first quarter-mile from the Soderberg Open Space Trailhead along the Swan Johnson Trail is flat or even a gradual downhill. But the lung-busting, leg-aching uphill fun begins the moment you step on Towers Rd.
Every other Thursday evening, the Fort Collins Trail Runners hold a low-key time-trial up this.
7.2 miles out-and-back; flat, gravel trail.
Run along the Canal Access Rd. trail just south of Tavelli Elementary School to I-25 and back. The trail is on the south side of the canal. This route can be combined with the Tavelli-College Ave. trail to make a run of 9.7 miles.
10.0 miles; dirt roads; rolling. [Strava times]
A classic, rolling 10-mile loops east of Interstate 25 northeast of Fort Collins with little traffic on dirt roads.
Redstone Canyon (County Road 25E)
12.8 miles out-and-back; moderate ascent/descent. [Garmin info]
This is a run near Masonville that is definitely more challenging on the way out than the way back. It’s beautiful and very worth the effort.
Old Horsetooth Half-Marathon Route
13.1 mile loop; hilly. Submitted by Dan Berlin.
Basically start at the CSU stadium, up Centennial, over the North Dam to right on Bingham Hill Road, then another right on Overland, back to the stadium.
Spring Creek–Overland–Poudre Trail
20.9 miles; flat. Description submitted by Dan Berlin. [MapMyRun info]
Starting anywhere on the Poudre or Spring Creek bike trails, heading either direction to Overland and using Overland to connect the two trails between Spring Canyon Park/Cottonwood Glen Park and Lyon’s Park. This loop is about 21 miles, good for marathon long runs, also fairly protected from the wind, and plowed in the winter. Right now (late November 2013), however, there is a detour around College Ave. and the Spring Creek Trail. Coincidently, this loop runs on four of the seven Tortoise & Hare courses (Edora, Spring, Cottonwood, and Lee Martinez).