Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures - Part 11
Horsetooth Reservoir Park & Lory State Park: Slightly west of Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins, the conjoined parks include more than twenty-five miles of single track biking and dirt roads. Numerous options are provided by the numerous interlaced trails, however cycling up to Horsetooth Reservoir is the typical choice for riders. Take Prospect to Overland Trail then follow the signs to Lory State Park and then on to Bingham Hill Road and all the way through 2 more marked junctions.
Flowers Road: Just and its name entails, gorgeous wild flowers hug the trail for the first three miles of increasingly inclining but generally smooth track. When you reach the memorial sign, switch to the single track that goes through dry, thick pine forest. You'll find that the surface becomes rocky, both embedded and loose, as the incline becomes steeper and more difficult. The track goes around an area of wilderness and finishes at the wooded boundary at five miles. Take some time to relax, maybe have lunch then turn around and return the same way you came.
The Hewlett Gulch trail can be quite rocky to ride on. The winding trail has forever had many stream crossings. In earlier years, the banks of the streams were mostly ride-able while the bottom of the stream was a sandy bed. Now, there is still a tease of perfect single track in short spurts, but crossing the streams is a rocky ordeal and not quite so friendly. Spring runoff or high water easily makes the streams up to three feet deep. Once you pass mile 3.1, a quick trek leaves the gulch to cross a rider friendly and charming mountain valley. High grass will graze your shins all the way to the higher viewing platforms at 4 and 4.5 miles. The steep and loopy selection at mile 5 isn't for those who are faint of heart.
Good times roll in Boulder, Colorado. At one time, Boulder was criticized for lacking in on-street routes and dedicated paths, however now the City has a unified network stretching from the foothills to the plains. This network is impressively designed with well constructed, eye-catching , tunnels, bridges and signs. Entrance and exit routes are also well constructed and are often mistakenly thought to be the actual paths. Continue on west, passing Broadway and the pathway carries on all the way through the downtown area then leads up through Boulder Canyon. Going south on Broadway leads to pathways surrounding Viele Lake. Head north of Arapahoe Ave. and the pathway takes you to Cottonwood Open Space.
Sugarloaf Road: Only a short distance from Boulder lies a network of mining roads from the old days that are favored for use as mountain bike trails. The 10.6 roundtrip miles, also known as Glacier Lake Trail, climbs lightly to the west over inclines facing south. At about eight thousand feet the broad road gives way to sweeping views of valleys and mountain peaks off in the distance. Notably, the Indian Peaks, capped with snow, are the main focus.