Poudre Trail

Lee Martinez Park, Colorado

Elevation Gain743ft
Trailhead Elevation5,075ft
Elevation Min/Max4880/5075ft
Elevation Start/End5075/5075ft

Poudre Trail

Poudre Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Larimer County, Colorado. It is within Williams Natural Area, Butterfly Woods, McMurry Natural Area, CSU Environmental Learning Center, Cattail Chorus, Lee Martinez Park, Prospect Ponds Natural Area, Kingfisher Point Natural Area, Springer Natural Area, and Old Fort Collins Heritage Park. It is 10.7 miles long and begins at 5,075 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 21.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 743 feet. The Butterfly Woods, Cattail Chorus, and Springer Natural Area recreation grounds can be seen along the trail. There are also drinking waters, a wood, trees, and restrooms along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Pleasant Valley Trail, Hickory Trail, Wood Street Connector and Spring Creek Trail.

Poudre Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

The Best Fort Collins Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
John Gascoyne (And the Colorado Mountain Club)
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"The Poudre Trail is an 11-mile pathway through much of the best that Fort Collins has to offer. It provides access to outdoor art, local history, natural areas, and, of course, the Poudre River. The many transportation options include wheelchairs, road bikes and mountain bikes, running and walking shoes, roller blades, skateboards, and horses.You can explore this riverside corridor in three sections, from southeast to downtown to northwest of the city. Our adventure will begin at the southeast terminus, Colorado State University’s Environmental Learning Center (ELC).After a few miles of this wild and winding beginning, you’ll work your way along the north side of Fort Collins to Martinez Park. From this midpoint, the trail goes mostly to the west and somewhat to the north to end at Lyons Park, close to LaPorte."
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"This delightful trail runs near the river as it winds from North West Fort Collins and Laporte, past lovely Lee Martinez Park, through old town, and past River Bend Ponds, a large open space area, to East Prospect Road. Along the way you can enjoy the sparkling river’s waters and the ever-changing surroundings as you go from rural to urban and back again. It is suitable for biking or hiking. You can access the trail from either end—the east end at East Prospect Road or the west end at Cache la Poudre Elementary and Middle Schools—or from the middle at Lee Martinez Park. The trail is next to the entryway for the school on the southwest side of Old US 287. Starting at the west end, travel south and east around the school’s ballfields and join up with the river after 0.5 mile of winding, tree-lined trail. When you reach Lions Open Space, a more reliable place to park when school is in session and a good place for picnics, stop briefly and enjoy a beautiful view of the river and foothills. From Lions Open Space trail goes under Overland Trail Road and then crosses one of the best designed foot-bridges in Colorado. A walking loop from Lions Open Space to the school and then to the bridge lets you enjoy the river’s beauty."
Best Hikes with Kids Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Maureen Keilty
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"This wide, level, paved trail near the northern city limit of Fort Collins follows the Cache la Poudre River. (The French name, meaning “where the powder is hidden,” refers to the gunpowder early trappers hid prior to a snowstorm.) The Poudre River Trail is well-suited for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, from kids and grandparents to joggers and folks in wheelchairs. Environments vary along the trail, which begins at Shields Street and heads southeast, ending at Colorado State University’s Environmental Learning Center (open to the public) near East Drake Road. The trail’s newest 1.75-mile addition continues west from Shields Street. From the Shields Street parking area, in the trail’s first mile cottonwood and Russian olive branches frame grand views of the foothills to the west. During July and August, downy cottonwood seeds drift through the air like summer’s snowflakes. Encourage youngsters to gather the airy piles of seeds collected around clumps of grass and feel the softness against their faces. Fall color walks are ideal here."

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Trail Information

Lee Martinez Park
Nearby City
Old Fort Collins Heritage Park
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
For current conditions and more information, contact Fort Collins Parks, www.fcgov.com/parks/trails or (970) 221-6660
Local Contacts
Tour de Fort bicycle map (available at local bike shops)
Local Maps