There are approximately 17.5 miles of recreation trail in Loveland that run from Boyd Lake State Park, in the northeast to the Big Thompson River, along Wilson Avenue. The trail winds through the west shore of Boyd Lake, along irrigation canals, through fields, over and under city streets, and along the Big Thompson River through some very beautiful areas. The trail is designed to accommodate many types of recreational use. Currently, it is used for bicycling, walking, running, skating and rollerblading. Pets are allowed, but must be on a hand-held leash. Horses are not allowed on the paved sections of the trail.
Bobcat Ridge is a grassy valley, with foothills, ponderosa pines, stunning red rock cliffs and more. Bobcat Ridge is home to elk, wild turkey, mountain lions and other wildlife. Several historic homestead sites dot the landscape. Trails include the Valley Loop (4 mile loop), Ginny Trail (5.4 miles, climbs 1,500 feet, open for hiking and mountain biking, closed to horses), D.R. Trail (3.4 miles long, climbs 1,100 feet, open to equestrians and hikers, closed to cyclists), Powerline Road (1.5 miles long, climbs steeply with loose rocks so not recommended for horses, uphill only for cyclists), Eden Valley Spur (an out and back route, 1.3 miles along the valley bottom). Part of Bobcat Ridge was burned in 2000 by a wildfire, and evidence can still be seen of its devastation in areas.
Please note, dogs are not allowed in the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.
Three miles long and about one mile wide, Carter Lake is a 1,100-acre reservoir surrounded by 1,000 acres of public lands and is popular for fishing, sailing, camping, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing, and water skiing. It is open year round. Sundance Trail on the west side of the lake is a 3-mile easy to moderate trail with 1/2 mile of wheelchair-accessible trail, great for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing access. Fawn Hollow Trail on the east side is a 1-mile easy to moderate trail with 1/2 mile of wheelchair-accessible trail, great for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing. Park Entrance Fees and Camping Permits are required.
(driving tip: near the water tank 4 miles west of Wilson Ave on Hwy 34/Kmart)
Red-tailed hawks soaring above, grasslands carpeted with wildflowers, towering rock formations - these are just some of the natural features to be enjoyed at the 2,198-acre Devil's Backbone Open Space. Its 12 miles of trail connect to Rimrock Open Space and Horsetooth Mountain Open Space for hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, observing nature, as well as enjoying close-up inspection of the rock outcrop and long vistas.
The Devil's Backbone itself is one of the most impressive and visible geologic landmarks in Larimer County, as well as an important cultural feature with a rich and colorful history.
Drinking water is available at the trailhead. Please carry enough for your hike or ride. This open space is popular. If you arrive to a full parking lot, that means trails are at maximum capacity. Please consider a different open space for the day and come back another time.
At Pinewood Reservoir, 4 miles of easy to moderate natural-surface trails for hiking, mountain biking and fishing access. The trail from the Blue Mountain Campground allows access to a ¼-mile wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. An interpretive brochure that corresponds with numbered stops along trail allows visitors to learn about the native flora, abundant fauna, outstanding geology, and remarkable history of the site. Please note you need to stop at Carter Lake or Flatiron Reservoir to purchase a permit.
Between Loveland and Fort Collins, Coyote Ridge offers a 7-mile trail, round trip, over several hogbacks. Here hikers, mountain bike enthusiasts, and equestrians may enjoy spectacular views of dramatic red rock cliffs and hogback valleys. No dogs allowed. Easy to moderate with two difficult sections.
Round Mountain Trail is in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest; the trailhead parking area is located in the Big Thompson Canyon, approximately 4 miles west of the Dam Store on Highway 34 (approximately 12 miles west of Loveland). The trailhead is located just southwest on Colorado State Highway 34 (across from the entrance of the Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park).
There are two trails that can be taken here. The Foothills Nature Trail is an easy 1-mile (2 hour) hike out to a scenic overlook, with markers along the way identifying the ecology as well as how humans have affected the area. If you prefer more of a challenge, the Summit Adventure Trail is a 4.5 mile moderate hike to the summit of Sheep Mountain. A full day should be allowed for this hike, which will take approximately 6-8 hours to complete at a normal hiking pace (9.1 miles round trip). Please plan your hike to conclude before dark.