Hikes & Runs
Several public trails in and near Loveland offer a great chance to stretch your legs and see the landscape:
From Loveland, take Eisenhower (State Highway 34) west. Turn right (north) at the Thompson Elementary school onto County Road 27. Continue down County Road 27 until just before the turn towards Masonville. You will see the Bobcat area sign to your right.
There are several loops. On spur takes you to an old cabin. Others take you uphill to a ridge with beautiful views to the west. The terrain is varied - meadow to piney.
From Loveland, take Eisenhower (State Highway 34) west. Continue west on Highway 34 past the Rossum turnoff (on your left) then watch for the Devil's Backbone sign and turnoff to the right -- turn into the Devil's Backbone Open Space parking lot as you bear slightly left.
This trail is dirt and has three loops. The first loop is well traveled, so has nice footing and few rocks. It goes for about 3 miles. You can choose to go up to the keyhole and take a look to the west, or bypass it and continue on. There are two other loops, for a total possible route of 7.5 miles. The second loop has some hills, and more rocks. The last loop is quite rocky, and hilly.
This trail is connected to the trail system that goes to Horsetooth Reservoir west of Ft. Collins.
Loveland's trail system starts at Wilson Avenue between 8th St. and 1st Street. It goes for about 12.5 miles, ending at the north-west end of Boyd Lake on County Road 11. This route is a concrete path which begins by following the Big Thompson River, crosses under US Highway 287, continues east, then north under US Highway 34, then through the Boyd Lake State Park area. You can get on the trail in various locations throughout Loveland. Markers are at 1/4 mi. intervals.
Lake Loveland is located in the center of Loveland, surrounded by US Highway 34 on the south, 29th Street on the north, Garfield Avenue on the east and Taft Avenue on the west. It is about 4 miles around the lake. The trail goes mostly in residential neighborhoods around the lake -- by Loveland High School and North Lake Park on the North and the South Shore Park to the South. The trail is concrete trail or sidewalk.
The Chilson Recreation Center is located in downtown, in the old town part of Loveland. It is approximately at 4th Street and Pierce. It is conveniently located on the Loveland Recreation Trail, so it is possible to join up with the trail just to the east of the recreation center and go either north or south on the trail.
Tanya's Run is a popular run from this location. Tanya's starts at Chilson Center. It is about a 9-miler that goes from 1st Street (just to to the south of the Center) down St. Louis Avenue to 402, then left on 402, left on South Boise (County Road 11) to 1st Street and back to the Chilson Center.
Coyote Ridge is an Open Space between Loveland and Ft. Collins on Wilson Avenue (from Loveland) or Taft Hill (from Ft. Collins). The first mile is a dirt road leading over the first hogback and to a cabin. After that, the next mile is a dirt road/path which goes up another hogback then up to the summit of the highest hogback. An additional 1.5 mile stretch leads past the summit then down the backside of the steep, rocky hogback, through a meadow and up and around a redstone clad hogback to the west. A total trip of about 7 miles is possible.
From Loveland, take Taft south to County Road 14. There is a stoplight there, a big water tower on the south side of 14, and a church to the east of Taft. Turn west (right) then go about 1 1/2 miles until you see County Road 21 intersect with County Road 14. There is a little dirt parking lot directly across from County Road 21.
9 mile loop:
1st Street east to South County Rd. 9E--turn right
9E south to HWY 402-turn left
Stay on HWY 402 for about 1/2 mile
Turn right on South County Rd. 9 (this is the first available right turn)
Stay on County Rd. 9 until the T --turn right (E. CR 16)
You'll be running west at this point. Keep heading west until you come to a "Y".
Turn right at the Y and follow this road (turns into St. Louis) all the way back to E. 4th Street-turn left
Follow 4th street to the Chilson Center for total of 9 miles.
11 mile loop:
Same directions except when you come to the "Y" (at about mile 5ish), turn left.
Follow to Hwy 60--turn right for one mile
Turn right again onto S. CR 13
Follow to the "T"--turn left
Take this road (turns into St. Louis) all the way back to E. 4th Street--turn left
Follow 4th street to the Chilson Center for a total of 11 miles.