Get out on the water and get some sun! Fort Collins and the surrounding natural areas offer both motorized and non-motorized boating options for folks who want to get out on the boat. 

Fishing, water skiing, sunbathing and leisure swimming are all easy to do from a boat cruising on Horsetooth Reservoir. A seven-mile long reservoir located on the west side of town, it is nestled in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains and sits just below the iconic Horsetooth Rock.

Summertime and fall bring thousands of people to the reservoir to jet ski, boat with the family, fish, kneeboard and water ski. Convenient boat ramps are located at both ends, as well as a marina in the inlet. Camping is available in campgrounds along the water’s edge, many hiking trails are nearby throughout the foothills, and there are two swimming areas located at the reservoir. 

Fort Collins ponds and Horsetooth reservoir also are accessible by non-motorized boats. Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding are popular ways to quietly enjoy the wild and calm waters dotting the Fort Collins area. Many of the ponds also allow electric-trolling motorboats where fishing is allowed. Natural areas and ponds around Fort Collins allowing non-motorized boating include Arapaho Bend, McMurray Natural Area, Prospect Ponds, Gateway Natural Area, North Shields Ponds, Riverbend Ponds, Kingfisher Point, and Pineridge Natural Area. Read more about our natural areas:

Group, pontoon, jet and fishing boats as well canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and wave runners can be rented onsite at Inlet Bay Marina located along the shore of Horsetooth Reservoir.

When making your plans, note that Horsetooth Reservoir is located just west of the city of Fort Collins and south of Lory State Park. If you are interested in checking out other area lakes you can explore Boyd Lake State Park, Carter Lake, Lonetree Reservoir. All Colorado State and U.S. Coast Guard rules apply.



Local Favorites

Authentic to Fort Collins

Convenient access, clear water, challenging rapids and beautiful scenery make the Cache la Poudre a river-runner’s paradise from May through September for whitewater rafting. Rafts, canoes and...

Learn More

Whether you’re looking to cool off in a splash park, swimming pool, or get some laps in, Fort Collins has options to suit any need. The following swimming pools are conveniently located...

Learn More
Kayaking & Paddling

Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP, in Colorado has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Because of our reservoirs, lakes, and rivers, Fort Collins plays host to some of the best SUPing spots...

Learn More

The Cache la Poudre River is truly a hidden treasure, with majestic cliffs and intriguing rock formations enveloped in ponderosa and lodgepole pines, sagebrush, mountain mahogany and aspen.

Learn More
Fort Collins Spotlight