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Level: Advanced
Length: 13 mi (20.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +234/ -190 ft
Total: 85 riders

Mountain Biking Foothills Trail

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#235 of 1,362 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#2,001 in the world

Rocky accent to Rd 23 and Horsetooth Reservoir, and then decend. Not much shade. There is a great spot to get air on the way back down by the stadium. Great views of Ft. Collins from the top. Trail connects to Pine Ridge Natural Area and Dixon Reservoir to the south. Trail ends at Claymore Lake.

First added by dauw on Jun 18, 2006. Last updated Apr 29, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From the Overland Trail-Rd 42C intersection in Fort Collins, take 42C west towards the south end of CSU Hughes Stadium. Park on the north side of the road. The trail is on the right (north) side of the road on then SW side of the stadium, and is a gravel road that quickly turns into singltrack. On the south side of 42C is a trail into the Pine Ridge Natural Area and Dixon Reservoir. This trail can also be accessed from Road 23 that follows the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir.
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Foothills Trail Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

DanK_NoCo (on May 25, 2023)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 18, 2019)
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Foothills Trail videos

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Foothills Trails in Fort Collins, CO
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Fort Collins, Colorado

Beginner | 7 mi
Intermediate | 3 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi
Intermediate | 5 mi

Rider questions

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  • vbeckman74

    This is a better run than a bike ride. I'd rather ride anything else in the FC area.

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  • wrestle203

    Started on the north end. it was a decent ride, but when you get close to the dam the trail becomes very difficult. even the experts would have problems

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  • mountaineer54

    Rode the trail today. On over all good condition give all the rain we have had lately. I wou
    D say that the middle rtion of the trail behing the watwr treatment plant is more of an expert. That section sees such little use that the trail is becoming over grown and some decent sections cannot be ridden. I have done all the segments seperately. But today i did the whole thing and it was great.

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  • sniswend

    Great trail system. Shore line ride is fast and smooth, then ends with tough climbs on both ends. A new swim beach along the shore line has added considerable foot traffic and some of the best down hills get clogged with hikers and bikers during late afternoon into the evening.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    This is a great beginner/intermediate trail with some smooth singletrack, some rocks that aren't too challenging, and amazing views of the Horsetooth Reservoir. Blog post on my ride here coming soon!

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  • DanK_NoCo

    The southern end of this trail begins in Pineridge (has a review), climbs the hogback thru the technically challenging Maxwell (has a review). Both these areas see significant traffic. The rest of the trail has significantly less traffic.
    From here there's a network of trails on both the east and west sides of CR 23 that continue north. Some of these trails are relatively flat singletracks, others decend to the shoreline of Horsetooth Reservior and can include some serious technical challenges. There are several places where you can go back and forth from the reservior to near CR 23.
    Eventually the trails reach a dam, and the dirt tries to force you down to the CSU Foothills campus. This is a 500ft decent just south of the dam, and a climb back up on the north side of the dam. These are steep and technical with a few hike-a-bike sections - not my favorite. You can bypass this section by riding the bike lane on CR23.
    Once you're back on top of the hogback on the north of the Dam, you have a number of singletrack opportunities on either side of CR23. Eventually, you enter Revervior Ridge on the east side of CR 23, which has a couple of potential loops and desends to Michaud Lane on a steep rocky singletrack (lose rocks and switchbacks). I really enjoy this part of the ride.
    You can then ride the road to complete the loop. Alternatively, you can ride either the north or south sections as out-and-backs.
    There are very few trail markings, so finding the route you want can be challenging - or part of the fun. http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/pdf/foothills-trail-brochure.pdf
    * Review edited 7/24/2011

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  • John Fisch

    Some fun spots along the way and the ability to link up with other area trails makes this a worthwhile ride when in the area.

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  • Rob   ✓ supporter

    The trail is actually 6.7 miles one way, not the 4 originally indicated. The downhill overlooking the stadium is very nice. Fast and technical enough to keep you on your toes. On this ride (Sunday - 12noon) ran accross 6 bikers and more hikers/runners, so watch your speed. Climbing is steep in sections, but flattens out enough to keep you from walking or stoping too much.

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