By Heidi Spirek

In the spirit of keeping up with my Insider's Guide series, I’ve compiled a list of the five best outdoor activities to do in Fort Collins. If you missed it, I recently wrote about what to do during a day trip to Fort Collins. 

I wanted to do a deep dive for you outdoorsy folk. Many who visit Colorado come because they want to experience something outside, which is very warranted. We do have some breathtaking views. If you’re planning a trip to Fort Collins, or even considering relocation, check out what you can expect to get from our nature scene. The following are in no particular order because they are all amazing. 

Hike Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Horsetooth Rock ​is located on the west side of Horsetooth Reservoir and you can see it from almost anywhere in the city. Many wonder about this rock that is literally shaped like a tooth. Well, it turns out, you can actually climb it. If you start at the base of the trail you’ll get there and back in five miles with some minor rock scaling at the end. The view is unbeatable! For those wanting an easier hike, you can loop the ​Horsetooth Falls​ trail in just over two miles and get a pretty lagoon view. 

Check out Horsetooth Reservoir

Every summer ​Horsetooth Reservoir​ makes itself to the water lover. Swimming is my favorite activity here, although I recommend doing that in July, August or September when the water is warm. Boating is another summer favorite for many. There are also many spots for a picnic and great trails for hiking. When it snows, bring your snowshoes and enjoy hiking all the same!

Bike the trails

With over 28f0-plus miles of multi-use trails, Fort Collins is definitely known for their ​bike culture​. My favorite is the Poudre Trail, which follows the river beautifully. There are many other options to choose from as well. If you get tired of biking along one of our many wonderfully paved paths, try out road biking instead. And, if you didn't bring a bike with you, that's okay, Fort Collins has the option of renting a bike with Pace bike share

Raft the River

This summer activity is truly one of the most enjoyable and exciting ways to cool off. Head to one of the rafting companies in town and let an experienced guide lead the way. Not sure where to start? Give ​Mountain Whitewater​ a try. Read more about river safety ​here​ and you’ll be all set for an extraordinarily fun time!

Explore City Park

There are quite a few parks in Fort Collins, but ​City Park​ is definitely the most frequented. Whether you want to play a game of Ultimate-Frisbee, or walk/run around the lake, this is the place to go. While you’re at it, bring a loaf of bread and feed the ducks. During the summer months there is a pool that offers fairly cheap admission, and it even has a lazy river! 

After reading through these you may be thinking - while all these are good and fun, what do I do in the winter? The answer is - most of the above! Aside from swimming and rafting, a lot of Coloradoans do these activities year round. 

You may also be wondering - what about skiing and snowboarding? These are definitely the activities that most Coloradoans do in the winter, however, you cannot do them right in Fort Collins. No worries though - drive a couple of hours west and you’ll find plenty of spots for that.

If these outdoor ideas proved helpful for you, let me know in the comments below! And as always, I wish you safe travels, and I hope you enjoy Colorado. 

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