This past weekend, I went on a field trip with my GEO 121 class to Lory State Park. I had been to the little pull-off lots on the east side of the reservoir, but never on the real park side of the mountain range. I knew the long list of trails were there, but I usually left the hiking and biking to the extremely athletic people of Fort Collins.
After going on our little college field trip, I realized the trails are not as difficult as I imagined and the beauty of the park made up for myself gasping for air the entire time.
For $7, you can get a one-day pass and spend the day hiking or biking any trail. Some people are not aware, but horses are allowed on some of the trails as well and of course dogs (which must be leashed) are more than welcome to hike with their masters all day long. Camping is also available in some parts of the park for only $10 a night.
Arthur’s Rock Trail, one of the most popular trails, is an amazing little trail crossing back and forth over a creek until you finally approach the Arthur’s Rock formation. This trail in particular is 1.7 miles long and rates from a moderate-to-difficult level of trail. Arthur’s Rock is one of the trails we hiked for our field trip, and if I can make it up and back without dying from exhaustion, anyone can do it.
The camping aspects of Lory State Park are also ideal. There are six back-country camping sites. These can be found when you stop at the main office to pay your entrance fee. Camping is available seven days a week, but be warned — it is first come, first served on camping spots.
Whenever I drive on the dam of Horsetooth, I must pass 20 bikers every time. I have mad respect to those of you who can make it up all the ridiculously steep hills — I would make it 10 feet up a hill and turn around to head home. Lory State Park offers over 16 miles of trails that range from all levels of difficulty.
And, of course, we can’t forget the perfect summer hangout location for Fort Collins — Horsetooth Reservoir. You can boat, fish and swimming is a must — just be prepared for that cold mountain water that fills the reservoir.
Lory State Park was a place that I underestimated until I spent only one day walking around the trails. Even though I got a wonderful backpack sunburn, it was a day well spent and I definitely recommend for everyone to see what Fort Collins really has to offer. For more information on the park, click here.
Collegian Travel Blogger Katelyn Mitchell can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitch_kate_.