There are approximately 18 miles of recreation trail in Loveland that run through some very beautiful areas on the west side of town near Wilson Avenue, along the Big Thompson River corridor to the south and east, over and under city streets, along irrigation canals, through fields, and north along the west shore of Boyd Lake State Park, then back to the west through the natural wetlands. The entire trail is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Approximately twenty miles of paved urban trail are planned with the goal of developing off-street trails that will encompass the perimeter of the city.
Quarter-mile markers are located along a large portion of the trail to measure your distance traveled. Currently, these markers begin counting near the Wilson Avenue area and continue around to the Highway 287 Underpass (near 57th Street).
RECREATION TRAIL MAP
The Recreation Trail & Bikeways Map shows the Recreation Trail, bike lanes, bike routes, privately maintained trails, regional soft surface trails, parks, cemeteries, golf courses, open lands, public lands, and outlines the Loveland City Limits. We hope that it will be helpful for residents and visitors to the area.
They are available to pick up at numerous locations around Loveland, such as the Loveland Visitor's Center, Boyd Lake State Park, the Chilson Recreation Center, various Loveland bicycle shops, or at our Parks & Recreation administrative office.
You may also choose to view/print them yourself via the PDF files below.
There may be some dates & times for which the recreational trail will have very heavy use or experience temporary closures. During inclement weather or flooding conditions, there may also be closures or delays in clearing the recreational trail for use. When there are major impacts to the recreation trail that we are aware of, we will post them here for more information.
MIGRATORY BIRDS NOTICE:
Migratory Bird Nesting Season Underway in Loveland
Each year, beginning in mid-March and ending in late summer, our public spaces (including parks, open lands and the recreation trail) play host to many species of migratory nesting birds. The City has identified known nesting sites in public spaces with signage.
Bicyclists, walkers, and joggers are encouraged to temporarily avoid nesting areas. Any intrusion into the nesting area may cause the birds to take flight, leaving their nests vulnerable. The eggs themselves may be harmed and not hatch if left exposed to the hot summer sun for as little as five minutes.
Most birds in Colorado are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The MBTA makes it unlawful for anyone to pursue, hunt, take, capture, or kill migratory birds or destroy nests or eggs.
The Parks and Recreation Department asks that the public protect nesting birds and allow them to reproduce and flourish in our City. Please be respectful of the birds at all posted sites.
For additional information and resources, please contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or visit their website at: www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/regulationspolicies/mbta/mbtintro.html
TRAIL PLANNING UPDATES:
Winter Update 2017 -
Exciting work is being done with the Loveland Recreation Trail loop. This spring we are working on trail reconstruction between Wilson and Taft to repair flood damage to the trail and to add a trail connection to Taft Ave. We are also replacing the damaged Wilson Avenue Pedestrian Bridge with a new 140 foot span steel and wood structure. We hope to complete this work prior to by Memorial Day, weather dependent. We are also adding a new section of trail from the west US 34 underpass to Namaqua Ave. As part of this project, we will be re-using the Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park bridge for a trail ditch crossing. This new trail addition will help us move one step closer to completing the rec trail loop. We hope to have this section of trail completed by May 1, 2017.
TRAIL NEWS RELEASES:
Second paved trail will connect Loveland and Fort Collins State Dedicates $800,000 for Colorado Front Range Trail LOVELAND, Jun 29, 2015 – A second concrete trail linking Loveland and Fort Collins will be built, thanks to a $450,000 grant awarded by the Colorado Department of Transportation and a $350,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife.
The 2.2-mile Colorado Front Range Trail – Loveland to Fort Collins Connection, like the Long View Corridor Trail, will fill the gap between existing trails in Loveland and Fort Collins. The Front Range Trail will connect Loveland’s Recreation Trail near Boyd Lake State Park to Fort Collins’ Fossil Creek Trail.
“We’re excited to get this project going since the Colorado Front Range Trail has been in the works for more than 13 years now,” said Janet Meisel-Burns, Senior Park Planner with the City of Loveland.
The two trail systems will provide connections between the two communities both east and west of the U.S. Highway 287 corridor. The east-side Front Range Trail system has been planned since 2002 when Loveland and Fort Collins identified the connection as part of an initiative to develop a trail system from Wyoming to New Mexico. The Colorado Front Range Trail will be located between Lemay Avenue and Timberline Road. “In the future, it will be possible to tie these two new trails into a single trail loop, or to take one trail to work and the other home,” Meisel-Burns said.
Fort Collins planners view the Colorado Front Range Trail as an extension of their community’s popular and well-developed trail system. “We have more than 50 miles of paved trail in Fort Collins and there is a demand for more,” said Kurt Friesen, Fort Collins’ director of Park Planning and Development. “This connection is vital to our southern system and allows users greater access to our newly completed Fossil Creek Trail segment.”
Construction for the Colorado Front Range Trail section linking Loveland and Fort Collins is planned to begin in 2017. Construction plans are complete and the project is estimated to cost $1,012,666. In addition to the $800,000 in grants received, the remaining project costs will be paid by Loveland, Fort Collins and Larimer County based on the proportional costs of trail construction within each jurisdiction.
Note: Attached photo of farmland adjacent to the future Colorado Front Range Trail segment funded by two State grants. Photo credit: Jeffrey Boring.
Funding Secured for Long View Corridor Trail
LOVELAND, June 24th, 2015 – With the final grant falling into place June 18, funding has been secured to build a multi-use, recreation and commuter trail connecting Loveland and Fort Collins.
The 4.4-mile Long View Corridor Trail will run along the east side of North Taft Avenue in Loveland and South Shields Street in Fort Collins, providing a safe, detached, non-motorized alternative to traveling between the two cities. No such trail currently exists connecting Loveland and Fort Collins.
The Long View Corridor Trail will pass through three City of Fort Collins natural areas, one Larimer County open space and one City of Loveland natural area. The five public spaces, consisting of protected agricultural lands and wildlife habitat, will offer future trail users sweeping views of the foothills and mountains.
On the north end, the trail will tie into a sidewalk and underpass leading into the City of Fort Collins’ Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area and existing Fossil Creek Trail. “With Cathy Fromme Prairie already having a concrete trail system, pedestrian underpass and trailhead in place, it will be a great destination for folks using the Long View Corridor Trail,” said Jason Stutzman, City of Fort Collins Project Manager. On the south end, the trail will tie into the Loveland Recreation Trail at the City of Loveland’s newly acquired Sunset Vista Natural Area on the corner of 57th Street and North Taft Avenue. At Sunset Vista, Loveland plans to build a trailhead, parking lot and other amenities.
“The acquisition of Sunset Vista Natural Area was the catalyst for securing grant funds to build the Long View Corridor Trail”, said Janet Meisel-Burns, Loveland’s Senior Park Planner. Although Fort Collins and Larimer County had secured most of the land needed to build the trail, the acquisition of Sunset Vista Natural Area allowed the trail to be fully built, so that visitors could use it to connect to existing trails. “Cyclists and walkers will be able to get from Loveland to Fort Collins, and vice versa, safely, without having to ride or walk on busy North Taft Avenue/South Shields Street”, Meisel-Burns continued.
Transportation and safety were the top priorities for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) when they awarded Larimer County a $1 million grant for this trail in January. “Paved trails are more than just a recreation amenity; with additional growth planned along the Front Range, it’s wise to provide alternative forms of transportation, such as bike paths”, said Jeffrey Boring, Larimer County Resource Specialist. The $1 million award was CDOT’s largest award for this grant cycle. “The Long View Corridor Trail project was selected because it provides critical connections to existing community trail networks. This connection increases travel options for Northern Colorado's transportation network and helps increase bicycle and pedestrian safety”, said Karen Schneiders, CDOT Transportation Planner.
In addition to the $1 million CDOT grant, final funding for the trail was secured on June 18 when Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) announced a $999,550 grant from its Paths to Parks initiative to Larimer County, City of Loveland and City of Fort Collins to build the trail. “Children today are not getting outdoors as much as their parents did, so one of GOCO’s top priorities is to fund projects that create safe, easy avenues to the outdoors,” GOCO Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug said. “This trail will allow kids and their families to access five open space and natural areas, four of which did not allow public access prior to the Long View Corridor Trail.”
Construction of the Long View Corridor Trail and the trailhead at Sunset Vista Natural Area will begin in 2017 with a grand opening planned for 2018.
Wilson Bridge and Taft/Wilson Trail - Staff completed their review of the Wilson to Taft trail reach and the Wilson Bridge Hydraulic Study in April and submitted a scope change request to FEMA. Staff is seeking a substantial change order to accommodate the new longer bridge required to reconnect the trail. Staff can’t continue with final design until the State and FEMA review and approve the change order. Construction drawings should be completed this summer. Permitting and review by the state and FEMA will delay the construction of the bridge until the fall 2015.
Summer 2014: Staff continues to work with landowners on the future trail between Wilson Avenue and Namaqua Road and from Namaqua Road to the US 34 Underpass. The City has been working on this trail section for 12 years and it is identified in the 2014 Parks & Recreation Master Plan.
The City has been unsuccessful in securing the easements needed for trail construction but has been working cooperatively with both the underlying land owner and the ditch company to resolve issues and minimize safety concerns. Work on the first section of trail between Namaqua Road and the US 34 underpass may begin in 2015 but no specific schedule for completion of this trail has been determine.
Why isn’t the trail between the North US HWY 287 Underpass and Taft Avenue at 57th Street completed?
Many citizens wonder why the City can’t complete the trail between the US 287 Underpass and the trail at 57th Street and Taft Avenue. This trail section is referred to as “developer dependent” since we are waiting on other projects to complete portions of their development before the City can extend the trail.
Other developers must complete road improvements on 57th Street and construct the sidewalk on the south side of 57th Street. They will construct a 10 foot wide detached sidewalk to the future intersection of Duffield Avenue. Property on the north side of 57th must complete their planning and secure approval by the City for the trail easement west of Wal-Mart in the Wintergreen subdivision.
Until these 2 projects are completed the City must wait to construct the final trail alignment along 57th Street. There is no estimate of a completion date as both of these projects are subject to the developer’s schedule. In the meantime the City is looking at alternative or interim routes through existing or proposed open space north of 57th Street. UPDATE 9-2014: The Taft Avenue & 57th Street Open Space has been acquired! More on that HERE.
Regardless, the City advises all trail users to travel safely and avoid using 57th Street. Trail users coming from the east should return on the trail back to Boyd Lake State Park or follow Garfield Avenue south to 37th Street to access a safe bike lane to the west side trail.
Please bike or walk responsibly and follow all recommended trail signage regarding trail closures.
Rules & Regulations:
General Rules for Use & Operation of
Park Lands, Recreation Trails, and Open Spaces
The City of Loveland has a cadre of Bicycle Ambassadors who are trained and equipped to share rules of the road, trail etiquette, route finding and basic bike maintenance with others who are interested in riding more. The Bicycle Ambassador Program is part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Coalition (BPEC) which works to get more people walking and riding, and fewer people experiencing related injuries.
Bicycle Ambassadors tailor educational messaging to children, teens, college-age students, families, adults in the workplace, seniors and motorists through:
Bike skill/safety rodeos
Neighborhood Open Garage events
To learn more about the Bicycle Ambassador Program, volunteer as an ambassador, or request a presentation, bike rodeo or BPEC presence at an event: