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FoCo parks offer great opportunities for community sports

As brisk fall weather descends upon Fort Collins, ushering in seasonal change, residents’ opportunities for comfortable outside activity are increasingly numbered.

As many of us may be aware, Fort Collins is home to some incredible parks and outside spaces. That being said, I’ve elected to take a look at some of these parks and highlight some of my favorites that provide great opportunities for Fort Collins residents to get outside and engage in some community sports before the Colorado cold sets in.

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City Park

This park has been a go-to for Fort Collins residents and a staple of the City for over 100 years. Not only that, but its proximity to CSU and student housing west of Shields Street makes it a location with a plethora of outside entertainment possibilities for students as well.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the popular City Park Pool, forcing a halt of operations. Despite this closure, the park still has so much to offer.

Anyone who has been to City Park will surely tell you about its rolling hills and sprawling green fields. These large open spaces are perfect for games of football and ultimate frisbee, favorites among college students, while also providing enough space for participants to keep their distance from each other and promote adherence to local health guidelines.

What sets City Park apart from other spaces in the City has to be Sheldon Lake. This small but endearing body of water is bordered with long stretches of boardwalk that make an excellent avenue for a stroll or run. If you have access to a fishing pole, this lake also presents fishing opportunities for those looking for more individualistic sporting outlets.

Twin Silo Park

The youngest park on this list is not without its own uniqueness and avenues for community sport.

“Broaden your horizons and have fun with it!”

While the primary attraction of this park is the City’s tallest slide, the park also boasts large, flat swaths of beautifully maintained grass fields perfect for setting up anything from spikeball nets to spread-out games of catch. Twin Silo Park also offers soccer nets located just east of the main playground structures that are perfect for smaller games or if you’re looking to get some practice in for your intramural team.

This park also contributes to Fort Collins’ bike-friendly culture with an impressive bike park in the northeast corner of the property. Complete with paved and dirt portions of the track, this park offers opportunities for bikers to catch some air if they feel so inclined to take advantage of the dips and curves of the track.

Rather uniquely, this park also provides pickleball courts, which I highly recommend trying out if you haven’t had the chance yet. Broaden your horizons and have fun with it!

Spring Canyon Park

Spring Canyon Park is located at the western end of Horsetooth Road and is my personal favorite park on this list. This 100-acre recreational masterpiece has something for everyone, and I mean that 100% literally.

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Starting with the westernmost part of the park, visitors will find the skate park and hockey rink where any skateboarder, rollerblader or roller-hockey enthusiast is sure to be impressed with its high quality. 

The opportunities for sport are endless here. If you’re looking to hoop with some friends, this park offers well-maintained basketball courts to the northwest. If volleyball is more your style, this park offers nets for that as well. If you’re looking for a public place to play a little baseball, this park’s baseball diamonds are perfectly spaced for some good old-fashioned games of catch or even a full game if you have enough friends. Even if you’re looking to pick up a racket and channel your inner Roger Federer, this park has got your back with fully-lighted tennis courts.

To all our pet parents out there, your furry friends are sure to enjoy this park just as much as you will with a state-of-the-art dog park located in the southwest corner of the space, complete with a dog-friendly pond for your pawed pals to get their paddle on.

Rolland Moore Park

The final mention on my list has been a Fort Collins classic since 1984. Complete with a variety of sporting facilities and neighboring natural areas, there’s no shortage of opportunities for activity here. 

For those looking for some fun in the sun, the westernmost area of the park is home to sand volleyball courts complete with nets. Much like the other parks on this list, Rolland Moore also offers basketball courts and lighted tennis courts.

The park is also home to a variety of grassed sports fields that play host to many a youth soccer and football programs. On off days, these fields are perfect for members of the public to get their frisbee, football, soccer or baseball fix.

As mentioned before, Rolland Moore is adjacent to two of Fort Collins’ natural areas, with Fischer Natural Area located to the north of the park and Ross Natural Area to the south. Fischer Natural Area provides access to the 7.8 mile Spring Creek trail which spans a great length of the City and is a dream for joggers and dog walkers.

Get out and enjoy these wonderful spaces before it’s too cold. As always, have fun, stay safe, stay healthy and get active!

Bailey Shepherd can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @B_Sheps. 

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