Fort Collins Northern Expanse Loop

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Fort Collins, Colorado
Date Published:
June 3, 2022
Gravel Ratio:
55% G / 45% G
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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This is a route on Bike Sports' June 2022 Gravel Graceland Experience.
We had the pleasure of participating in Gravel Graceland, a training camp run by Zack and Whiney Allison of Bikesports. It included three days of amazing gravel riding in Northern Colorado with well thought-out and gorgeous routes, good food, beers and new friends.
Don’t worry if you missed this opportunity. They have a second Gravel Graceland training camp happening Sept 16th-18th, 2022. Use promo code "gravelbikeadventures" for $75 off registration!
Check out their site if you are looking for great gravel events and other route ideas in the Fort Collins area.

Photo Credits: @zacharylallison


Very little elevation gain, 45% pavement and dirt roads that were mainly hard-packed, means that this route was quite fast rolling and fun!

Fort Collins and the surrounding ares of Laporte and Wellington are beautiful and green in the spring time. It is often windy and/or bright /sunny in the exposed areas of Northern Colorado, but we luckily had a mild day with light wind, cloud cover and moderate temperatures- all of which made for an ideal day of riding this route.

The beginning section is on the shaded Poudre River Trail which rolls alongside the Cache la Poudre River.

Also at the beginning, there is some flowing single track trails through parks, but also some less-traveled, locally-know single track that felt particularly delightful to ride on.

At about mile 38, there is a short climb with an incredible view that makes for a great place to stop, have snacks and snap a photo.


There is not much to complain about on this route, but our one low was having to cross 287, a very busy highway where there wasn't a light or crosswalk. We were able to frogger across to the middle and wait for traffic to clear before getting all the way across. You must use caution when crossing at this intersection!

Do this ride if you want a relatively flat and fast gravel ride through scenic farmlands north of Fort Collins.

Other Notes:

We parked and started this ride near Old Fort Collins Heritage Park which is off of Linden Street. There is a small parking lot and a public vault toilet available here.

You are never too terribly far from civilization, but there weren't many services or places to stop right on the route.  You'll want to make sure and take enough hydration and nutrition with you for the whole route.
We did notice there were bathrooms at the Bobolink spur Reservoir Ridge Trailhead (at about mile 9).

The route finishes at New Belgium Brewery which is a perfect place to enjoy a delicious post-ride beer outside and with plenty of bike parking. On the weekends, there are often food trucks, but I would do your research beforehand if that is your plan for post-ride food.  There are many options in nearby Old Town Square.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

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