Explore Fort Collins Bike Paths


With over 300 days of sunshine, breathtaking natural scenery, and hundreds of miles of pristine Fort Collins bike paths winding through pine forests and along rushing rivers, this town has rightfully earned its reputation as one of America’s most bike-friendly destinations. From family-friendly greenway trails to thrilling singletrack, this northern Colorado gem offers sublime cycling for riders of every age and ability.


  • Fort Collins' 200+ miles of bike lanes and trails cater to all cycling abilities and interests.
  • Must-ride paths include the Poudre River Trail, Spring Creek Trail, Fossil Creek Trail, and Power Trail.
  • Family and group rides enjoy amenities like the Boyd Lake bike path, bike rentals, and bike parks. Yet the city punches above its weight with an outstanding network of bicycle infrastructure catering to commuters, recreational cyclists, competitive racers, and everyone in between.

Over 200 miles of bike lanes, paved trails, singletrack, and quiet neighborhood streets invite visitors to ditch four wheels for two. And thanks to a cycling-crazy local culture, drivers share the road responsibly, allowing cyclists of all ages to feel safe and welcome.

From leisurely pedals along the Poudre River to adrenaline-pumping mountain bike trails, Fort Collins emerges as a cycling nirvana matching the grandeur of its Colorado High Plains setting.

Authentic Local Flavors

While the outdoor recreation steals the spotlight, Fort Collins also impresses with its vibrant arts, culture, and food scene. Quaint Old Town with its locavore cafes, craft breweries, indie boutiques, and tree-lined plazas provides the perfect pitstop during two-wheeled adventures.

Farm-to-table fare at eateries like The Regional highlights Colorado’s agricultural bounty with seasonal, sustainable ingredients. And the area’s craft brewing heritage shines at pioneering breweries like New Belgium and Odell.

Beyond downtown, a calendar packed with cultural festivals like the Colorado Brewer’s Festival and Tour de Fat showcases Fort Collins’ enduring passions for bikes and beers. The city’s collegiate spirit energizes the scene, with Colorado State University students and alumni fueling growth.

From carb-loading pre-ride to celebrating post-ride, the cultural delights of Fort Collins enrich every cycling trip.

Crown Jewels: Must-Ride Bike Paths

With so many pristine bike-friendly routes winding through forests and prairies, sublime scenery becomes standard. Yet a few crown-jewel paths stand above the rest, delivering bucket-list adventures for visiting cyclists.

Pedaling the Poudre River Trail

Paralleling the Cache la Poudre River as it tumbles down from the Continental Divide, this paved greenway trail delights riders with shimmering waters, wildlife sightings, and cool mountain air. The main trail stretches over 20 miles from Fort Collins east into the town of Windsor, with many connector trails expanding the network.

Cyclists of all ages flock to the Poudre River Trail to immerse themselves in the alpine beauty of Colorado without leaving town. The path also links up with other epic rides like the Spring Creek Trail, allowing ambitious cyclists to spend entire days journeying through the wilderness while barely pedaling alongside a road.

Cruising Spring Creek Trail

Starting in the heart of Fort Collins before meandering northeast through prairie grasslands, the Spring Creek Trail spans nearly 19 miles as it parallels its namesake waterway. Cyclists will feel far removed from civilization while enjoying wild panoramas of snow-capped peaks filling the horizon. As a rails-to-trails route, the path features a steady, gentle gradient perfect for riders seeking a workout without too much uphill climbing.

Linking up with the Poudre River and Fossil Creek Trails, Spring Creek Trail provides the missing piece for epic loop rides of 30 miles or longer touring the captivating landscapes surrounding Fort Collins.

Cranking Fossil Creek Trail

On the opposite side of town, the Fossil Creek Trail explores open spaces and wildlife preserves west of Fort Collins. As another rails-to-trails route, the compacted gravel path caters more to mountain bikes, hybrids, and cyclocross rigs while offering a taste of backcountry adventure minutes from downtown.

In addition to fossil discoveries in the area, riders may spot wild mustangs grazing the prairie grasslands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. At just over 5 miles one-way, the Fossil Creek Trail often gets incorporated into bigger loop routes.

Powering Along the Power Trail

The Power Trail puts cyclists on the path of a historic trolley line that once connected Fort Collins to the region’s mountain resort communities. Today, the northern segment forms the backbone of many rides heading into the foothills. Most cyclists turn around at the Rotary Park trailhead, while ambitious riders can press on along country roads toward Red Feather Lakes.

With its steady uphill grade gaining over 1,000 feet of elevation, the Power Trail tests legs and lungs for cyclists prepping for high-altitude adventures. And the surrounding woodlands and wildflowers provide sensational scenery to take the mind off the climb.

Family-Friendly Cycling Adventures

From toddlers in bike trailers to grandparents riding tandem, Fort Collins bike paths invite cyclists of every age to join the fun. Families can discover many kid-friendly routes right from their accommodation doorsteps, thanks to an abundance of off-street paved trails and low-traffic neighborhood streets.

The Fossil Creek, Spring Creek, and Poudre River Trails all accommodate child riders with their flat or gently rolling terrain. For little ones still mastering bike handling skills, Fort Collins also shines with pump tracks, bike playgrounds, and skills courses to build confidence through play.

Popular family-friendly cycling destinations include Boyd Lake State Park, with over 6 miles of shoreline bike paths, the Fort Collins Bike Library lending bikes for all ages, and outdoor treasure hunt adventures from Tracks and Trails. Bike-through coffee shops and ice cream parlors provide the perfect pit stops to fuel up along the way.

And as the cycling obsession starts early here, parents can meet other family riders through groups like Fort Collins Family Ride, leading no-drop community rides every Sunday.

Joining the Local Bike Tribe

It doesn’t take long after arriving in Fort Collins to notice the two-wheeled mania. Bikes seem to outnumber cars, and cyclists of every stripe can be spotted cruising down the street with big smiles (and bigger calves).

While visitors are welcome to experience Fort Collins’ cycling culture on their own, joining local riders opens the doors to insider knowledge and camaraderie.

For those seeking their own competition, Fort Collins Cycling Club hosts weekly timed rides and races from March through October. Riders can test themselves on the same roads and trails used for elite-level events.

And for low-key community rides welcoming cyclists of all abilities, Fort Collins Bike Co-Op’s Cruiser Rides, New Belgium’s Tour de Fat, and local bike shops’ group rides connect riders with new friends.

Riding Safe and Navigating Trails

While Fort Collins provides superb cycling infrastructure, riders still need to follow basic safety protocols and navigate routes responsibly. Safety tips like wearing helmets and using bike lights after dark are strongly enforced to protect cyclists on roads and trails.

The City of Fort Collins offers an interactive GIS map detailing all designated bike lanes and trails. Local bike shops also provide free paper maps outlining popular routes and infrastructure. Route-finding apps like RideWithGPS tap into the area’s robust cycling community with route suggestions tailored for road cyclists, commuters, families, and more.

And while many off-street trails allow dogs and pedestrians too, cyclists must control their speed and give audible signals when passing. Riding recklessly or discourteously gives all cyclists a bad reputation, so locals urge visitors to respect the trails and each other.

Supporting Cycling Visitors

Between all the gear, maintenance, and nutrition demands of cycling, riders appreciate a helping hand from time to time. Fortunately, Fort Collins delivers exceptional support services tailored specifically for cyclists who are spending long days in the saddle.

Mobile bike repair stations stationed along popular trails provide tools for quick repairs and inflating tires, while numerous full-service bike shops in town cater to more complex mechanical issues. Local shops like Lee’s Cyclery and Pro Peloton offer bike rentals for visitors plus guides for self-guided tours.

Riders can fuel up on high-performance nutrition at cafes and restaurants geared towards cyclists. The regional dish creative carb-loading meals, while shops like Taco Party supply portable ride food like rice cakes and nut butter.

Accommodations make hospitality an artform with bike-friendly services like indoor storage, maintenance areas, laundry facilities, discounts and local intel from hosts. So while the region’s natural splendor steals the spotlight, the little details round out an exceptional cycling destination.

Rolling Beyond Town

While the Fort Collins trail network provides endless miles of two-wheeled adventure, many riders itch to venture farther afield. Luckily, several trails connect Fort Collins to neighboring towns and destinations, expanding the voyage.

The 20-mile Loveland to Fort Collins bike route traces quiet country roads and dedicated bike paths shadowing US Highway 287. Ambitious cyclists can extend the ride south down the Front Range towards Boulder.

To the north, country lanes and gravel farm tracks wind through rural landscapes towards Wellington, Timnath and the Cache la Poudre River Canyon. And a network of singletrack trails around Horsetooth Reservoir offer an appetizer before escaping into the mountains west on the Blue Sky Trail.

With fat tires and camping gear, bike-packing adventurers can disappear into Roosevelt National Forest for days-long backcountry epics accessing wild places far from any roads. Though with idyllic country cycling right outside town, multi-day expeditions can easily turn into a lifetime of discoveries right in Fort Collins’ backyard.


What are the top family-friendly bike paths in Fort Collins?

The Fossil Creek, Spring Creek, and Poudre River Trails all cater to family cyclists thanks to their flat or gently rolling terrain, plus plenty of park amenities. The city also shines with bike skills courses, pump tracks, and bike playgrounds for younger riders.

Where can I find bike trail maps for Fort Collins?

The City of Fort Collins offers a detailed GIS map of all designated bike infrastructure online. Local bike shops also provide free printed maps highlighting popular cycling routes and trails. And route-finding apps like RideWithGPS curate member-generated route suggestions.

How can I connect with Fort Collins’ bike community as a visitor?

Joining local group rides for races and events is a fabulous way for visitors to plug into the community. Fort Collins Bike Co-Op’s community rides, bike shops’ group rides, and annual events like Tour de Fat open their arms to riders of all abilities.

What type of bike is best for riding the trails around Fort Collins?

While road bikes work well for paved greenway trails, a sturdy hybrid or mountain bike expands options for gravel paths and singletrack. Fat bikes with oversized tires allow riders to continue their adventure through the snow. Rentals and demos from local shops let visitors test options before committing.

Are there any extended bike trails connecting Fort Collins to neighboring towns?

Yes, several trails extend cycling adventures beyond Fort Collins. The 20-mile Loveland to Fort Collins trail follows quiet country roads between the two cities. Gravel farm roads stretch north through the farms around Wellington and Timnath. The Blue Sky Trail heads west into the foothills towards Horsetooth Reservoir.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at ReadyColorado.com. My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.