Spring Canyon Park is one of Colorado’s best and most beautiful urban parks. The 100-acre community park nestles against Pine Ridge on the western edge of Fort Collins, offering gorgeous mountain views. Spring Canyon which opened in 2007 has recreational facilities for every interest.
Spring Canyon Park is a park located at the north end of Fort Collins, Colorado. A popular spot for trail running and mountain biking, Spring Canyon Park boasts over 20 miles of trails that explore the surrounding Pineridge Mountains.
It is a very popular destination for local trail runners and mountain bikers. Summer weekends often see large organized events in the park hosted by Fort Collins Running Club. The trails are also popular among hikers and families with children as there are many places to stop along the way. Popular stops include Redtail Point, Camping Ridge, Short Line Loop, Lily Lake Overlook, Campus Pond Greenbelt, Woodland Park area, Deane Keller Peak Overlook Trail, and Rocky Mountain Overlook Trails. The terrain in this area varies from open prairie to densely forested hillsides. Visitors can enjoy views of the foothills as well as bison and elk that roam freely in neighboring fields and woodlands.
Starting from where Taft Lake Creek meets Harmony Road, this trail winds through open prairie for a short distance before reaching a steep climb up into woodlands. After climbing steadily for about a mile, the trail reaches Redtail Point which offers amazing views of Poudre Valley to the east and Spring Canyon Park to the west. This point also serves as a popular turnaround spot for local runners as it is only about a half-mile from the trailhead. From here, you can link up with Horsetooth Mountain Open Space trails to continue exploring the foothills.
The trail starts from Harmony Road and takes off at a steep climb almost immediately. The first mile of this trail is considered one of the busiest in Spring Canyon Park as it runs along Taft Creek and offers views across the open prairie toward Horsetooth Reservoir. There are several places to stop along the way including redtail point which is only half a mile away, creek crossings, and numerous spots for a quick picnic snack break. Horseback riders frequent this trail in Fort Collins due to its relatively smooth terrain compared to others that criss-cross Spring Canyon Park. A popular destination on this loop is Short Line Loop, a short spur that takes you to a rock art site.
Furthermore, it has three lighted tennis courts, two basketball courts, four picnic shelters, three ball fields, various sports fields for soccer and football, a horseshoe pit, volleyball courts, a skateboard park, a free-ride mountain bike course, a great dog park, an inline hockey rink, an interactive water feature, and Inspiration Playground, the state’s first handicap-accessible playground.
The park, with a couple of miles of paved trails, also offers access to Spring Creek Trail, Pine Ridge Natural Area, and nearby Cottonwood Glen Park. The Veterans Plaza in the south part of the park honors military men and women tied to northern Colorado. Spring Canyon Park has almost no cell phone service and poor public transportation access. It is recommended that visitors hike on the greenbelt trails to the visitor’s center and then link up with trails near Horsetooth Mountain Open Space or use one of the car-accessible trails like Deane Keller Peak Overlook Trail.
This 1-mile-long trail can be accessed from the Spring Canyon Park Visitors Center and loops around Campus Pond, one of two major water sources in the park. The visitor’s center is open on Saturday from 10 am-3 pm and Sunday during Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend from 9 am-4:30 pm. There is also a wide variety of birds and wildlife that frequent this pond so it makes for an interesting photo opportunity when walking by at any time of year. If you’re looking to snap some shots of wildlife, the best times are early morning or late evening as most animals tend to retreat to their burrows or dens during the midday heat.