Hiking & Biking

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Looking to get outside and enjoy fresh air, quiet surroundings and beautiful views? Take a walk around the lakes of St. Vrain State Park, ride your bike along the Poudre Trail, or lace up your hiking boots and head out to the Pawnee Buttes. Weld County is home to miles of trails that cross the wide open prairie and follow along one of our beautiful rivers. Whether you are looking for a family friendly outing or want to escape to the quiet of the plains, we've got just the spot for you.

Northern Weld County - Pawnee National Grasslands and Pawnee Buttes

The Pawnee National Grasslands cover 193,060 acres contained within a 30-by-60 mile area. The rich history of the area is represented by old homesteads, cemeteries, nearby museums and a network of numbered forest service and county roads that will take you within easy walking distance of almost all parts of the grassland.

The Pawnee National Grasslands are not only an internationally known birding area but also a wonderful spot for hiking, camping, picnicking, horseback riding and stargazing. While on the grasslands, keep an eye out for a few of the species that make the area their home including pronghorn, burrowing owls and the state bird - the Lark Bunting.

Most areas of national forests and grasslands are open and free of charge for your use and enjoyment; please be mindful, however, of the private land that exists alongside the public land. Fees or permits may be required for use of some areas, specific facilities or services.

To learn more about all the Grasslands and the Pawnee Buttes have to offer, please their page on the U.S. Forest Service website or stop by the U.S. Forest Service Office on your way and pick up maps, brochures and more (115 North 2nd Ave., Ault).

 

 

Firestone - St. Vrain State Park

St. Vrain State Park is a family-friendly destination for visitors seeking a peaceful and simple outdoor break. It’s an easy drive from Denver, Greeley or Fort Collins, as it is located on Highway 119 just off I-25 (Exit 240).

This park offers 604 acres of land and 152 acres of water split among several ponds great for anglers, campers, photographers, birders, walkers and anyone who loves nature. St. Vrain now offers a total of 87 campsites open for year-round camping.

There are many activities to do while visiting St. Vrain State Park including: biking, birding, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and  picnicking.

St. Vrain State Park is located at 3785 Weld County Road 24 ½, Firestone, Colorado 80504. For more information, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/StVrain or call 303-485-0186.

 

 

Greeley/Windsor - Poudre Learning Center & Poudre Trail

Nestled just south of the banks of the Cache la Poudre River in north Greeley, the Poudre Learning Center showcases the history and ecology of the river.

Whether you are a student, a naturalist, a recreationalist, or just someone who enjoys a peaceful setting, the Poudre Learning Center is a great place to spend several hours exploring the ecology of the Poudre River.

Walking paths, which are wheelchair accessible, lead visitors past prairie grasses, ponds, and close to the river itself. Birds of prey and waterfowl can be seen throughout the area as can prairie animals such as rabbits and prairie dogs.

The center itself is housed in the old Hazelton School and offers learning opportunities for students of all ages.

Also located near the center is the Poudre River Trail. This trail, which is 21-miles of paved pathway, goes from Island grove Regional Park in Greeley to Colorado Highway 392 in Windsor before connecting to Larimer County’s trail at the River Bluff’s Open Space.

Whether you are walking, running, cycling or roller-blading, you will no doubt find the trail a wonderful experience.

Learn more about the Poudre Learning Center by visiting their website at poudrelearningcenter.org. To plan your trip on the Poudre Trail, please go to www.poudretrail.org.

Eaton/Windsor/Severance - Great Western Trail

One of Weld County's newer trails that has, perhaps, the greatest history is the Great Western Trail near the towns of Eaton, Windsor and Severance. This mixed-use trail is built on an abandoned rail bed of the Great Western Railroad. "The trail helps to preservice this historic right-of-way through the "railbanking" provisions of the federal National Trails System Act," according to the trail's website.

This wide, soft aggregate surfaced trail takes you through farmland and provides striking views of the Rocky Mountains to the west. 

While work on the trail continues, there are several sections finished, open and waiting for you to explore. 

To plan your visit and to learn more about this trail system, please visit there website at gwtrail.com.

Greeley - Signature Bluffs

Whether you are enjoying traveling along the Poudre Trail or your just looking for a nice quiet walk, be sure to stop by the Signature Bluffs area located in Greeley. A small soft-surface trail coming off of the main Poudre Trail will loop visitors around upland areas, near the river, and past restored wetlands. Work on the land near this trail is part of an active ecosystem improvement project and signage along the trail shares information about the unique habitat with visitors. Learn more about Greeley's natural areas on their website at greeleygov.com

Frederick - Frederick Recreation Area

Another great spot to enjoy the outdoors is the Frederick Recreation Area. This gem in south county features 129 acres of parkland and a 1.26 mile trail around Milavec Reservoir. Don't forget to admire the tile mural 'Hooked on Frederick' by artist Mario Miguel Echevarria at the old pumphouse. To learn more about the urban oasis, please visit the Town of Frederick's website at frederickco.gov

Greeley - Glenmere Park

Looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle? Check out Glenmere Park in Greeley. Located between 14th and 17th Avenues, this beautiful park started to come together in 1909 after an earlier attempt to build a steam-generating electrical plant in the area failed. Greeley landscape architect Raymond U. Williams want a park that reflected nature and made sure to include many types of trees (elm, birch, crab apple, spruce, juniper and more), many of which were donated and planted in 1932.

While you walk along the paved sidewalk that encircles the park, notice the ponds and stream that invite all types of urban wildlife including bull frogs, herons and cormorants.  

To learn more about parks in the City of Greeley, please visit their website at greeleygov.com.

Windsor - Eastman Park River Experience

The newest addition to our list of great trails for hiking and biking is the Eastman Park River Experience in Windsor. Located off of 7th St. and Eastman Park Drive, this area features a walking trail along the Cache La Poudre River (as well as the exciting addition of access to the river for kayaking, canoeing, tubing and good old splashing around). 

Enjoy the views of the river as you walk on a paved path under centuries old cottonwood trees. Learn more about this exciting location by visiting the Town of Windsor website at recreationliveshere.com.