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Mountain Biking Colorado's Front Range
by Stephen Hlawaty (Falcon Guides)
The Mount Margaret Trail is widely used by horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bikers. Its fairly level terrain is well suited for those new to mountain biking. The trail passes by a number of campsites and through a variety of open meadows and quiet stands of aspen and ponderosa pine on its way to the top of Mount Margaret, which overlooks the North Lone Pine Creek drainage. The huge giant rock walls that stand alongside parts of the Mount Margaret Trail offer mountain bikers ample amounts of rock scrambling diversion. Except for the last leg of the trail, which is tight singletrack, the trail follows an old roadbed. Several side trails lead to Dowdy Lake and make loops with the main trail. Terrain: Singletrack and doubletrack delivers wider and smoother terrain for most of the trail’s length, as it passes through open meadows and mixed stands of ponderosa pine and aspen. Tighter and rockier terrain toward the end of the trail.
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park
by Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh (Wilderness Press)
The round-trip to the summit can be a pleasant half-day-plus adventure, but it is worth-while to hike or bike even a small section of this scenic trail to enjoy the high mountain meadows and rock formations. You don’t have to bag the anticlimactic Mount Margaret summit that was recently “relocated” when its previous location was found to be incorrect. This popular summer hiking route has a relatively low altitude of 7,700 feet and limited shade, so it can be very warm in midsummer. It is ideal for hiking in spring, early summer, or early fall, unless you get an early start and beat the heat. If you do arrive in early spring, be prepared for the marshy area at the beginning of the trail and a slightly wider stream crossing.
The Best Fort Collins Hikes
by John Gascoyne (And the Colorado Mountain Club) (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
“This is what I call solvency,”my friend exclaimed as he finished a 360-degree pirouette on the top of Mount Margaret. This was the lead-in to a lunch-break discussion of how we can never go broke as long as the striking views, the chipmunks skittering across the rocks, an eagle windsurfing a thermal updraft, and restorative solitude remain available to us at such places. Forget that the crest of Mount Margaret is lower than the trailhead and that there is little perceptible elevation change between the two.When you reach the top, it feels like the top. Oh yes, ascending to the very, very top is not at all recommended: It consists of a dome about 30 feet high and,without climbing gear, could not be scaled without significant exposure.
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