Top 5 ideas for a Larimer County Parks Pass

This summer, grab a Larimer County parks pass ($90 for residents) and do a few things you haven’t tried before! We will see you out there. 

Carter Lake | Swim and Picnic 

Located just southwest of Loveland and northwest of Berthoud, Carter Lake is a magnificent 1,100-acre reservoir surrounded by public lands. While an entrance fee and camping permits are required, Carter Lake is open year round and sits at 5,760 feet. While Carter Lake is great for fishing, hiking and rock climbing, this summer we’re heading there to cool off and enjoy some good views. Pack a picnic and head to the swim beach for a day of fun in the sun. 


Hermit Park Open Space | Hike or Bike Limber Pine Trail

Located just two miles southwest of Estes Park, Hermit Park Open Space sits between 7,800 to 8,964 feet and is surrounded by pine forests, wetland meadows and mountain wildlife. This summer we are heading there to explore the Limber Pine Trail by foot. A moderate to intermediate 4.6 roundtrip hike, Limber Pine trail guides you through pine forests by the way of switchbacks and tight turns. With less than 500 feet of elevation gain, this is a great trail for you and the whole family. 


Horsetooth Reservoir | Stand Up Paddling (SUP) Boarding

Located west of Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir has an abundance of outdoor activities to keep you busy this summer. One of my favorite things to do after a morning hike in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is to jump in the reservoir, so why not combine a little core workout before you hop on it? Known as SUP, stand up paddle boarding is a popular activity at Horsetooth Reservoir. Don’t have your own board? No problem. Head to Satanka Cove at the reservoir and rent from several vendors, typically around $15 – 25 per hour, with deals if you decide to stay out longer. And don’t worry if you’re balance is terrible, the water will catch you. 

Pinewood Reservoir | Mountain Bike Beasant Point Trail

Located northwest of Carter Lake near Loveland, Pinewood Reservoir is a beautiful 100-acre reservoir with an abundance of outdoor activities. Sitting at 6,580 feet, Pinewood is open year round for camping, hiking and mountain biking. New to mountain biking or getting back into the sport after a hiatus? Head to Pinewood to try out Beasant Point Trail, a beginner, three mile loop with great views. Park on the northeast side of the reservoir, grab your bike, bike buddy (or go solo) and start riding. With little gain and tricky terrain, a few loops around will have you ready to explore other trails around Larimer County in no time!

Flatiron Reservoir | Sleep in a Tipi

Located northwest of Carter Lake near Loveland, Flatiron is a 47-acre reservoir, popular for fishing, camping and picnicking. While swimming isn’t allowed here, Carter Lake is just a hop, skip and a jump away! Sitting at 5,470 feet, Flatiron is great for a day in nature not too far from town. This summer, head there for a fun little adventure: sleeping in a tipi! Available between May and the middle of October, each tipi sleeps four adults comfortably. Sleeping bags are suggested, although a liner comes with each tipi. Parking is near by as well as a fire grate and picnic table. Learn more and reserve yours today

About Laura Smith 18 Articles
Laura Smith is a freelance writer, communications professional and events coordinator. Originally from Nebraska, she moved west for more adventures and more stories. When she isn't writing she can be found running, biking, hiking or at a local brewery.

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