Moving to FOCO, Ride from Town Options?
You guys may have seen my thread a month or 2 back about deciding whether I should move to Fort Collins or Golden. Well, I've chosen FOCO! Now, I need to decide exactly where to live. To figure that out, of course the 1st considerations are access to trails and coffee!
I'm looking at this map:
I'm having trouble telling exactly what trails are rideable from town. It seems the trails east of the reservoir don't connect to the Lory/Horsetooth Mountain Park trails to the west of the reservoir. Can someone clarify?
What are good routes from say College and Prospect, or College and Mulberrry areas to get to the good trails?
Also, how fun are the trails east of the reservoir?
Thanks in advance!
Most if not all of the trails are rideable from town, it just depends on how far you are willing to ride on the road to get there. I regularly ride from town on the road to Coyote Ridge, and take the Blue Sky Trail back toward Ft Collins. At Horsetooth Res you can either take the road back, or head into Horsetooth Mountain Park and Lory State Park. There is a short road connector from the north end of Lory, around the north side of Horsetooth Reservoir and over to the Eastside trails. I've also ridden on the road down to Devil's Backbone in Loveland (takes me about an hour of road time) and back on the trails north to Ft Collins.
It is very common to see people on mountain bikes riding on Harmony Road west to Horsetooth Mountain Park. I only drive over there when I'm pressed for time.
The trails on the Eastside of the reservoir are a mix of easy cruiser type trails in Pineridge, to very chunky and difficult in Reservoir Ridge/Michaud. It is my before/after work ride - I can easily get an hour and a half of riding varied terrain very close to my house.
To get to trails from College and Prospect, I guess I'd hop on the Spring Creek bike path and pedal to Spring Canyon Park. There is easy access to Pineridge and the climb up Maxwell from there. There is a section of Prospect near CSU that I would not choose to ride on.
From College and Mulberry, I'd ride down to Laporte Ave and take that all the way until the road ends. There is a trailhead there (although it is a hike a bike for me). You can also go North on Overland to Prospect and go west on Prospect. There is trail access there. Or... go south on Overland to Michaud to get to the Reservoir Ridge trails.
There is tons of access here, and biking around town is common. There is a great, supportive community of riders, and regular group rides. Many people ride year round, getting out the fat bikes when it snows. Enjoy!
chillmolly is right on, but I think her perspective is more from the south side of town.
I live in the general area of town you're describing (north side) and I'd say most people that start north of prospect ride roads to either Michaud Lane (start of the Reservoir Ridge trails) or where Prospect dead ends at Overland (access to Maxwell trails).
From Maxwell you can get to Blue Sky or HTMP by riding the roads around the south side of the reservoir, or take Shoreline Trail north and ride a few miles of quiet roads to Lory. The roads around the south side of the rez can get pretty busy during boating season, so I generally avoid those unless it's early in the morning.
From Michaud/Reservoir Ridge it's a few miles of quiet pavement into Lory.
I don't like to ride roads from the north side to Coyote or Devil's (busy with >45 mph speed limits). Plus the landfill is off Taft so you have a lot of truck traffic. If I want to ride those trails I'll take Blue Sky as an out and back.
As chillmolly said, the trais east of the rez are great lunch ride trails. When you have more time you head to Lory/HTMP/Blue Sky etc.
To minimize busy road riding:
Maxwell is best access via Springfield Drive to Lake Street.
Michaud is best accessed via Stonecrest Dr (Solar Ridge neighborhood) off Taft.
If you haven't seen the town bike map, have a look. It gives you an idea which streets are best for riding.
Here is a link to my Garmin Connect page and almost every one of my rides is from my house near Prospect and Overland. You can see the trails and profiles.
Garmin Connect - Profile Information for sgltrak
It is about 2 miles of pavement from the Reservoir Ridge trail head to the Lory State Park gate around the north end of the reservoir. From dirt at Pineridge, it is about 4.7 miles of pavement to the Coyote Ride trail head and about 5.4 miles of pavement to the tunnel access gate on the Blue Sky Trail.
It looks like the fast typing Molly, JRadin, and Sgltrak got you solid answers to your question, but to reiterate.
You are correct that the trails east of the reservoir do not connect to Lory/Horsetooth if you're looking to ride exclusively on dirt, however, from Reservoir Ridge/Michaud it's only a few miles of quiet rode with friendly traffic up into Lory State Park (as per JRadin). I find the traffic on the south route to also be friendly.
This would lend itself nicely for a loop from College/Mulberry area anti-clockwise around the lake taking Laporte west as chillmolly mentioned, up the foothills trail to reservoir ridge, short road section, then singletrack through Lory/HTMP by any number of ways. Or just ride back the way you came. Can't go wrong, really.
If you prefer the south route, from either College/Prospect or College/Mulberry either take Laporte west as above, or head down to either of a few trail access points on Prospect west of Overland trail. Head up the short access trail, you can either climb up the Maxwell climb to the road that parallels the reservoir, or you can head south through the low section of Maxwell, continue south through pineridge, catch a short section of paved trail to Harmony and up and around the south side of the res. where you can connect with Blue Sky at the CR38 tunnel. North will take you to Horsetooth/Lory, South will take you to Blue Sky/ Indian Summer, Devils back Bone, Coyote Ridge, etc..., Thanks to sgltrak for good mileages
By now I imagine you have learned why I should never ever EVER give written or spoken directions. Stop in and see me in the shop at Performance Bicycle when you get to town. I'll ramble on and on in more incoherent sentences as I did above, but I'll have maps that I'll be pointing at. Watch where I point and listen to nothing I say, it makes more sense that way.
Last edited by DanD; 02-12-2013 at 10:55 PM.
Justin - welcome to Fort Fun. I think you've made a wise decision. FC not only has a cornucopia of riding options from town as described by others, but it is also one of the most bike friendly towns you would hope to find. The beer's pretty damn good here too if you like to toss one back occasionally.
I personally live in the southwest part of town. I only have about .3 miles of pavement until I am on dirt, then can ride for as long as my legs and lungs can carry me. If I have to ride a few miles of road to link it all up, it's no biggie - still better than riding in a coffin. Between the local trails, HTMP, Lory, Blue Sky, Coyote, Bobcat, Devils Backbone, and all the backcountry gems it is practically unlimited. I'm not sure what the riding is like in Logan, but I don't think you'll be too disappointed. I'm from SLC originally and I can't imagine moving back there now, especially with the suicide inducing inversions they get on the Wasatch Front these days.
Ok, here's the deal. I have a hangover. Who knows what that means?