If you're looking for a fun trail not far from town, this one is great! Be sure to bring your 4-legged running-buddy! This is a very dog-friendly area.
There is a bathroom at the start/finish of the loop as well as a dog bag station. Not much shade on this route at all unless you're there in the evening when the sun is going behind the hills.
There is a "shortcut" trail that you can connect with on the western side of the hill near the 2.25-mile mark. The shortcut heads southeast and takes you up and over the hill where you can connect to the main trail and head back north (left). This cuts off roughly a mile from the route.
Pay attention to your feet, lots of rocks on this trail. This is a great workout, especially because of the rocks...
The Fort Collins Trail Runners meet here every Tuesday evening year round at 6 pm for a social run. They stop at three points along the way to let everyone catch up and enjoy the view.
From the trailhead, follow Michaud Spur
as it gradually begins to climb and become rockier. Around the 1.25 mile mark, the trail comes to a T. This is where you'll head to the right (north) on North Loop Trail
to start the loop portion of the route in a counter-clockwise direction.
Your first stop for a beautiful view is about the 1.65-mile mark when you reach the top of the hill on Interpretive Loop
. Take a moment at the top to catch your breath and enjoy the view of the valley to the west, especially beautiful dusk.
Enjoy the downhills, rolling terrain, and easier footing before climbing back over the hill to run down on the eastern side around the 3-mile mark. As you head over the top and begin to come down the other side, the trail will again come to a T, head left (north) on North Loop Connector
to stay on the loop.
Stay to the right on Foothills Trail
when you come to a Y in the trail around mile 3.2 and continue back to the first T that you came to, this time you'll be around 3.5 miles. Turn to the right (east/southeast) and continue downhill. Retrace your steps back to the parking lot. Stay left at the Y around mile 4.5, or you'll be adding bonus mileage running to a different parking lot!
Beautiful wildflowers in the summer along the trail. Deer are often out grazing along the hillside.