More than one-third of the state of Colorado is preserved within national forests, national parks, and open spaces regulated by state and local governments for everyone to enjoy. Once known as the "Lilac City," Fort Collins also has a beautiful and rich horticultural history that still thrives today with its many public gardens, each with a diverse purpose and focus.
Everyone deserves the chance to marvel at these beautiful gardens that help make our city so unique.
Fort Collins in Bloom is a self-guided tour of Fort Collins’ many public gardens and wildflower hot spots. So, get out, and explore all the beautiful flowers in and around the city.
The Colorado State University Trial Gardens
The CSU Flower Trial Gardens is where you’ll get a glimpse of hundreds of different flower species and vibrant colors in front of the historic University Center for the Arts. These research and display gardens include more than 1,200 varieties of flowers developed by seed and vegetative companies around the world and entered for evaluation under Colorado's extreme climatic conditions-searing heat, high light, low humidity, and occasionally stormy weather.
The garden is open daily to the public and is free of charge during daylight hours. The sun containers are wheelchair accessible with concrete sidewalks and the rest of the garden has wide pathways with wood chip mulch or turf along the edges of the beds.Address: 1400 Remington St. Fort Collins, Colorado 8052
The Gardens on Spring Creek
The Gardens on Spring Creek is Fort Collins' community botanic garden and it is situated on an 18-acre site along the Spring Creek corridor. The Gardens welcome visitors with inspiring displays of plants suited to the Front Range growing conditions and a visitors center with a gift shop and greenhouse. The Gardens on Spring Creek hosts community events throughout the year and present adult and youth educational programs. Additionally, The Gardens offer indoor and outdoor rental space for private events as well.
Address: 2145 Centre Ave., Fort Collins, Colorado 80526
Wild Flower Watch
Horsetooth Falls is a short, beautiful wildflower hike that resides in the stunning Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, just west of Fort Collins and provides some of the best hiking in Fort Collins. This trail takes you through sprawling meadows that are filled with wildflowers during the spring months. After passing through the meadows and taking in all the beautiful wildflowers, you will eventually ease down into a canyon that leads you to Horsetooth Falls. This trail is one of the most family-friendly hikes you will find in and around Fort Collins. The hike is a little less than 2.5 miles roundtrip and is rated as easy to moderate skill level. We suggest packing a lunch and having a picnic when you get to the waterfall, and go ahead and dip your feet in the water as well.Address: 6550 W County Rd 38 E
Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area
One of Fort Collins’ 48 Natural Areas, Cathy Fromme Prairie is a paradise for wildflower viewing. Cathy Fromme offers views of beautiful vistas, Colorado prairie, as wells as views of the nearby foothills and effervescent wildflowers trickled throughout the land around you. After taking in views of the wildflowers, keep yourself alert because you might also catch a glimpse of a bald eagle or hawk.Address: 2001 Overlook Dr.
Well Gulch Nature Trail
This 1.5-mile trail offers a self-guided nature tour through the grasslands, mountain shrubs, and timber life zones. Learn about the wildflowers, steep rock walls, and wetland vegetation that line Well Gulch Trail with stations along the way. This trail is perfect for those wishing to learn more about botany, geology, and animal life in Lory State Park while being immersed in nature.Address: 708 N Co Rd 25G
Arthur’s Rock Trail
The nearly 2-mile Arthur’s Rock Trail curves back and forth through open meadows and natural forest and features over a dozen varieties of wildflowers. The spectacular view at the summit, which is 6,780-feet is quite the payoff after enjoying all of the beautiful wildflowers. There is a fantastic natural stairway leading you to the top of the rock at the end of the trail which provides a perfect setting for a picnic if you pack a lunch. Arthur’s Rock trail is rated as moderate to difficult, but don’t be scared if you are a beginner, just remember to take your time and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. There is a $7 daily park entrance fee and dogs are allowed and must be under control on a leash.Address: 708 N Co Rd 25G
City Park Arboretum
City Park represents a wide variety of tree species. Due to its great beauty and diversity, City Park was named Fort Collins' official arboretum. There are more than 1,000 trees in the 76-acre park representing 223 different species and varieties, of which 31 are native to Colorado. Four trees are designated as state champions for being the largest recorded representative in the state of that species. Feel free to take a self-guided tree tour that can be found here.