Saturday, August 16, 2014

Biking Colorado's Poudre River Trail

The Cache la Poudre River runs from Greeley to Windsor for 21 miles.  It is paved, wide, has gentle grades, and is in good condition.  It passes through several parks and natural areas, has some forested sections, and often gives views of the namesake river. (Click to enlarge map.)

We started at Island Grove Park (elevation 4648 -- at the other end of the trail, the elevation is 4792.) After parking, bike back towards the road. Turn left onto the sidewalk/path and bike along the fence line.  The trail and its sign are at the end of the fence line and the trail turns left (I saw no other directional signs in Island Grove Park -- something I hope they address because it is very confusing as to where the trail is.)  Soon you'll come to a bridge. Turn right and take it over the river, turn left again, and you're on your way.  (By the way, a local Coloradoan said they pronounce the river "pooh-der.")

First you pass quarry operations and some lakes or ponds made from former quarries.  This area is called Poudre Ponds and is a 90 acre recreational fishing amenity.

Several sections of the trail have been built with the cooperation of local land owners, and signs acknowledging their donations are posted.  It is heart-warming to see such fine co-operative efforts in making this trail a reality.

One of my favorite sections was a bluff area with nice homes atop the bluffs.  The trail narrows as seen below and curves between the scenic river and hillside.

The Poudre River Learning Center is at 83rd Avenue and County Road 62.  Parking is also available here.

Poudre River website (has tons of info for you and interactive maps of the trail)

You can access the trail at several locations, including:
  • Island Grove Park: (1 mile Trail Section) 
  • 71st Avenue: (1 mile north of 4th Street) 
  • 83rd Avenue: (1.5 miles north of 10th Street/ hwy 34 business) 
  • Kodak: hwy 257 turn right at the farmhouse before the Kodak headquarters

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