The East Spring Creek Trail and the Poudre River Trails are public, paved bicycle paths in Fort Collins, Colorado that serve as a commuter thruways to CSU and downtown. In addition, they provide safe, family bicycle access to Spring Park, Edora Park, Lee Martinez Park, and Lions Park. All of the aforementioned parks are dog friendly and include free parking and restrooms. The following blog post describes a fun, family bicycle ride from CSU to Lions Park via the East Spring Creek and Poudre River trails. The ride was 11.5 miles one way and included streets with bicycle lanes. Cell phone service was strong on the ride.
East Spring Creek Trail is a 3.2 mile paved bicycle trail that runs west to east starting at the north end of the Mason Street trail and ending at the Poudre River trail. Check out the Mason Street trail for a similar family bike ride. We started from CSU by cycling south on Centre Ave, crossing Prospect Road, and then connecting to West Spring Creek trail. The following picture shows the intersection of Mason Street trail, East Spring Creek trail, and West Spring Creek trail.
Cycling east, Spring Park is the first recreation area you come upon (see below).
Edora Park is the next park/playground that is adjacent to East Spring Creek trail and can be seen in the following picture.
Shortly after Edora Park, you pass the Epic BMX track on one side and a skate park on the other side.
The Poudre River trail is a paved bicycle path that is 8.3 miles long. It starts at the East Spring Creek trail and ends at Lions Park. There is very little shade on it so heat and time of day are important considerations.
Cycling northwest, it pops onto a sidewalk where you need to make a u-turn to continue on it. Specifically, ride up the bike path, take a hard left, and ride against traffic on the sidewalk (not normal bike riding protocol). The sidewalk will keep you on the Poudre River trail and off of the street.
Lee Martinez Park is the next playground on this route and is located just off the Poudre River trail. In addition to a playground, it includes tennis courts, basketball courts, a BBQ pavilion, restrooms, and water.
The Poudre River trail becomes more scenic heading west from Lee Martinez Park because the foothills mountains in the background come closer into view. What’s more, the following section includes a dirt path adjacent to the paved trail. The dirt path provides an opportunity for runners to run separate from the cyclists and on a surface that is easier on joints.
Next, the trail crosses Taft Hill road which has bike lanes so it provides an opportunity to head south without having to double back on the Poudre River trail to East Spring Creek trail.
It continues northwest by crossing to the north side of the Poudre River via a bridge.
We concluded our bike ride at Lions Park (seen below). Here, we saw several people fly fishing in the Poudre River. From here, we road east on the Poudre River trail and took Taft Hill road south to our residence.
In sum, the East Spring Creek and Poudre River trails offer many fun, family bicycle ride opportunities because they are flat and there are many parks located adjacent to them. Specifically, Spring Park, Edora Park, Lee Martinez Park, and Lions Park can all serve as fun destinations for kids because they include playgrounds, water, and restrooms.