Fort Collins to Loveland (and back) via bike

When I first moved to Fort Collins nearly four and a half years ago now, the first thing I noticed (and fell in love with) was the ease of travel via two-wheels. My first job was about 6.5 miles away from our house, but I was able to get there nearly all the way by using paved trails. 

Since I’m someone who loves biking as a way to commute to and from work, this had me giddy. The commute felt a little shorter somehow as I sailed down the trail, and put me in a super good mood as I rolled into work every day at 8 a.m. 

While I’m no longer commuting over six miles each way, I still love exploring the trails on two wheels whenever a free weekend pops up on the calendar. Which, in 2020, happens to be every weekend. 

A few weekends ago my partner and I set our eyes on visiting Dark Heart Coffee Bar in Loveland. He had never been there, and I’m always down for some coffee. Literally always. 

Instead of hopping in the car, we planned a route from Fort Collins to Loveland. Most of which would be accomplished through the connected trail system between the two towns. How’s that for bike friendly? 

Photo by Jarad Heintzelman

Starting in Old Town, we jumped on the Mason Trail and pedaled south until we hit the newly built Fossil Creek connector trail. That took us west over to the Long View Trail, which follows Shields Street south towards Loveland. A few rolling hills get your heart pumping, and the prairie dogs on the side of the trail always make me smile. 

Once the Long View Trail ended, we hopped on the Westside Trail to roll through neighborhoods as we made our way into Loveland. That took us to the Big Thompson River Trail where we headed east, and then connected with the Civic Center Trail to take us into downtown Loveland. 

Our mid-ride pit stop at Dark Heart featured a smoked mocha and an iced oat milk mocha with a side of Nutella cruffin (croissant plus muffin). If you’re into giving new drinks a try, definitely order the smoked mocha. The black sea salt and maple make this a perfect mid-ride thirst quench. Roll back to FoCo via the Boyd Lake trail and the Front Range Trail, which eventually connects back to the Power Trail in Fort Collins. From there, the Spring Creek Trail gets you back towards Old Town. 

Smoked Mocha. Photo by Jarad Heintzelman

Round trip this ride was about 40 miles with less than 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Not too bad for a day on the bike that included delicious coffee. 

Decide to give this route a try? Make sure to tag @argentostudios in your ride and mid-ride stops. 

Have a favorite route on the trails in the Front Range? Let me know in the comments!

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