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We are privileged to have more than 280 miles of bike lanes and to host more than thirty miles of bike trails here in Fort Collins.
The Armstrong Bike Fleet
The Armstrong Hotel loans out cruiser bikes to our guests: first come, first serve. We generally have between six and ten bikes available. Just stop at the front desk if you’re interested and we can give you the quick details for how to borrow a bike from us. We have helmets and locks as well and can direct you to maps based on where you may like to ride.
The Fort Collins Bicycle Library
The Fort Collins Bicycle Library, situated at 250 North Mason, lends bicycles as well. You will find them inside the Downtown Transit Center building, just four blocks from the Armstrong. Reserve ahead of time for a small fee if you want to make sure you have a bicycle for your visit.
From the Armstrong Hotel, have fun exploring two of the main trails, which run parallel to the Spring Creek and Cache La Poudre River, in Fort Collins.
Part 1: Poudre River Trail
Ride north on South Mason, the street immediately west of—behind—the Armstrong Hotel, for five blocks; there’s a bike lane the whole way.
South Mason dead ends at Cherry where you’ll see brick building businesses and their adjacent parking lot. Cross Cherry onto the sidewalk just east of the parking lot. It merges into a reddish-tinted sidewalk, the Hickory Trail, that takes you past Lee Martinez Community Park directly to the Poudre River Trail.
Hooking up with the Poudre River Trail, you will be within the vicinity of a few small natural refuges immediately to the east and west of you: Magpie Meander, McMurry, Salyer, River’s Edge, and Gustav Swanson.
West Poudre River Trail
If you decide to head west on the Poudre River Trail, continue alongside the river, with the option to occasionally pull over to watch people tubing down the Poudre or to stick your feet in the river at one of the pull-off alcoves.
Remaining on the trail, you will ride toward the town of Laporte, passing through Butterfly Woods Natural Area. This area has a long wooden bridge that incites a childlike delight every time I ride across it.
In Laporte, stop at Vern’s Restaurant at 4120 County Road 54G where you can grab a quick drink from their gift shop or sit down for a traditional roadside diner meal in their restaurant.
Alternately, ride over to Swing Station, located at 3311 County Road 54G, for a beer and a rest on their patio. They have live music six days a week and, if you bike in, they serve you $3.50 microbrews. This ride from the Armstrong Hotel is about six miles one way.
East Poudre River Trail
If you choose to head east on the Poudre River Trail, you will run into Kingfisher Point, Cattail Chorus, and Cottonwood Hollow. Going in this direction, you can splinter off between mile markers 16 and 17.
This spur takes you near the Environmental Learning Center, which has pleasant paths to walk, including a small wooden suspension bridge, beside the river and is surrounded by lush greenery. The ELC incorporates over 200 acres of land where you will discover easy, self-guided nature trails; picnic tables; a learning garden; and a small raptor preserve with rescued eagles, hawks, and vultures. This ride from the Armstrong Hotel is about six miles one way.
Connect back up at the mouth of the spur. Head northwest to return to the Armstrong on the Poudre River Trail, retracing your path back to the hotel. Or continue southeast on the Poudre River Trail, which merges into the Spring Creek Trail.
If you have the stamina, it is fun to bike to the old CSU Hughes Stadium, off of Overland Trail between Prospect and County Road 42 C. Take the Poudre River Trail west until you come to Overland Trail Road. Turn south—left—on Overland Trail Road until you are close to the stadium.
Lock your bike nearby and hike up to the Horsetooth Reservoir through Maxwell natural area, near the giant, white “A” that represents the Aggies, CSU’s previous mascot. Cross the road, then find or make a path to hike down to the beach where the reservoir water laps onto the sand!
We have a map from the City of Fort Collins that you can pick up in the lobby of the hotel that shows these sites and more. Stop by the front desk to ask us where to find it!