Fort Collins, Colorado: Urban Paddle Guide

Fall on Horsetooth Reservoir. Colorado.
Fall on Horsetooth Reservoir. Colorado.

Fort Collins, Colorado: Urban Paddle Guide

Usually known for its countless microbreweries and quirky bike culture, Fort Collins, Colorado is also a sweet spot for SUP. It is crazy popular right now. Anywhere you go in town you’ll spot a SUP or two on someone’s car. It’s no wonder it has such a following in this beautiful Front Range college town, with plentiful blue sky days anytime of the year, and so many great places to jump on your board.

Horsetooth Reservoir is by far the most popular place to get on the water, and the six-mile reservoir offers many coves to explore. It is a great place for beginners to try out their skills as there are rentals at the north boat rent, or a great place for more experienced paddlers to get in some distance training. Have fun exploring all of Horsetooth’s coves and rocks, try some SUP yoga, cast a line or reserve a boat-in camping site for a night under the stars. Be sure to arrive early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds boats, and the wind—unless that is your thing of course. Best time to paddle Horsetooth? In the fall when the leaves are changing colors and new sandy beaches are revealed as water levels drop. There are boat ramps located at the north and south end, as well as a swim area near the north end to put in.

Feeling more adventurous? Check out the Filter Plant run on the Poudre River (Filter Plant to Picnic Rock). Class II-III rapids like “Mad Dog” provide plenty of fun on this hour-long run. Keep an eye out for strainers and be sure to check the water level before you head out.

Looking for a more calming river experience? Take the Poudre River from Shields Street to College Avenue. This is a popular run for tubers and SUPers looking to relax and take in some scenery. When you get off at College Ave, walk the half mile to Old Town to grab some food or do some shopping.

Eat: When it comes to grabbing a drink or some food, Old Town is the place to be. Check out popular New Belgium Brewery or Odell Brewing Co. for a cold beer (food trucks usually on site)

Shop: Jax Mercantile has got the hookup on new boards, paddles and other paddling gear as well as plenty of other gear for any backpacking, fishing, climbing or hunting adventures. Think REI with a wider scope and a hometown feel. Most of the rafting places in town offer daily rentals and board sales. Check out The Gearage in Old Town to rent or buy one of Hala’s latest boards…a must have in Fort Collins.

Submitted by Kelly Gardner

Urban Paddle Guide Info

Welcome to the 2015 Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX! Our mission is simple: build the best online resource for padding in towns and cities across the United States. Every urban area has unique places to paddle and we want your help finding out where those are! Enter your town in the Urban Paddle Guide now by sending us a picture(s), a brief description (no more than 350 words), then telling us about shops, restaurants and other resources as part of the entry form.

We're prepared to reward you mightily. By entering, you'll be entered for a chance to win a free trip to Southern California for the 2015 SUP Awards and the 2015 Pacific Paddle Games as well a brand new Lahui Kai board and paddle from SUP ATX.

Enter the Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX.