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Healthy Families
07/08/2013
Take your family for a hike...in the city

Take you family for a hike...in the city

Adriane Keen

Did you know that Fort Collins has more than 30 miles of hiking trails and Loveland has almost 20 miles of hiking trails within city limits?

My husband and I were avid hikers before having kids (now ages 2 and 4) and continued to be until we could no longer carry them in backpacks. Since then, I have had a strong desire to get back on the trails with the hope of teaching our children to love hiking and the outdoors.

I can't fool myself into thinking that the kids are ready to walk many miles at once. I know they are strong enough, but their desire is not there. Their short attention spans require lots of things to keep them occupied.

Lucky for us, our fine cities have given us places to do just that. As I was looking over the map of Fort Collins/Loveland trails, I noticed that each trail has at least one playground along its route.

In Fort Collins, along the Poudre Trail (10.1 miles) you will find Lions Park, Lee Martinez Park and Buckingham Park. The Spring Creek Trail (6.9 miles) offers Spring Canyon Park, the fabulous Gardens at Spring Creek, Creekside Park and Eudora Park.

Some other paved trails in Fort Collins are the Fossil Creek Trail (5.2 miles) the Power Trail (3.9 miles) and the Mason Trail (3.8 miles), all of which have playgrounds along their routes.

In Loveland, you can start out on the west side near Wilson Avenue, pass Centennial Park, Fairgrounds Park, Sunnyside Park, Seven Lakes Park and ultimately end up on the east side near Boyd Lake. If you prefer, you could also start on the north side at 57th Street and end up south of Highway 34 just east of Mariana Butte Golf Course.

There are plans to increase the trail mileage in Loveland and it will eventually go around the whole city. There are also many trail development proposals for Fort Collins.

If you live in Windsor, there is a new Poudre River Trail access from the River Bluffs Open Space. You never know, you could end up hiking to Greeley.

Obviously, we have a lot of hiking opportunities in this beautiful area of Colorado and much of it is close by. This is merely a reminder that hiking and nature are available, in most cases, steps from your front door.

For my family, loading up the car requires time, cooperation and patience. For now, it's OK to skip all that and just head to a trail. The kids love it and I can visualize our future – hiking the Rocky Mountains with the whole family. See you on the trails!

 

For more information:

City of Loveland Parks and Recreation

City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation

Windsor or Greeley trail information

 

Turn your family hike into an adventure with the free HealthyU Adventures iPhone app.  HealthyU Adventures allows you to track and share your healthy moments.

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