12 Parks in Fort Collins, Colorado

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Fort Collins, located in Northern Colorado, is known for its many beautiful parks and green spaces. With the Rocky Mountains providing a picturesque backdrop, Fort Collins offers nature lovers, families, outdoor enthusiasts and everyone in between ample opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces that Colorado is famous for.

From small neighborhood parks for children to play to larger regional parks with acres of trails, lakes and diverse wildlife, Fort Collins has something for all interests when it comes to outdoor recreation. Many of the parks also offer shelters, event spaces, sports facilities and more for gatherings large and small.

In this article, we will highlight 12 fantastic parks in Fort Collins for you to discover and enjoy. From historic sites to brand new parks and everything in between, read on to learn about some of the best parks Fort Collins has to offer its residents and visitors alike.

Spring Canyon Community Park


Spring Canyon Community Park is one of the most popular parks in Fort Collins. Located in central Fort Collins near Harmony Road and Taft Hill Road, it encompasses a large 143 acres and offers amenities for all ages.

The park gets its name from the natural spring that runs through it, which long ago attracted Native American tribes and early settlers to the area. These days, Spring Canyon Community Park attracts families, hikers, mountain bikers, disc golfers and many others who take advantage of all it has to offer.

Amenities and Activities
As one of the largest parks in town, Spring Canyon Community Park packs a lot into its sprawling acres. Some highlights include:

  • Playgrounds for both older and younger children
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic shelters that can accommodate large groups
  • Over 5 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking
  • Disc golf course with 19 holes
  • Basketball court
  • Multiple large, open grassy areas perfect for games, relaxing or even community events
  • Access to the Spring Creek Trail which connects to other regional trails
  • Abundant wildlife viewing opportunities – keep an eye out for deer, red tail hawks, hummingbirds, songbirds and more!

With so much to see and do, Spring Canyon Community Park is popular with families and friend groups as well as outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy walking the trails or playing a round of disc golf. The park plays host to various community events throughout the year as well, thanks to the large open spaces and shelters that can accommodate crowds.

City Park


City Park is located right near the heart of Fort Collins, adjacent to downtown and the popular Old Town area. It encompasses 100 acres and offers both recreation opportunities and preserved green space in an urban setting.

Initially purchased by the city in 1904, City Park has been a beloved community gathering place for over a century. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the development of Fort Collins’ parks and recreation system.

Today it continues to serve residents and visitors of all ages and remains an iconic anchor park for the city.

Amenities and Activities
Some of the many features and highlights of City Park include:

  • Playgrounds, fields and courts for various sports like tennis, volleyball basketball and more
  • Restrooms and picnic shelters
  • Over 3 miles of walking/running/biking trails
  • Two lake areas for fishing and wildlife viewing
  • Community events and summer concerts at the bandshell
  • City Park Pool and Recreation Center
  • City Park 9 Golf Course
  • Gardens that include the Perennial Garden and Iris Garden
  • Access to Spring Creek Trail
  • Historic attractions like the Boyd Lake Avenue Entrance Arbors and the Bartholomew Fountain

With its diversity of amenities, proximity to Old Town restaurants and shops and community events, City Park attracts all kinds seeking exercise, family fun, sports and relaxation against an urban backdrop with ample traces of nature and history. It offers a little something for everyone.

Fossil Creek Community Park


Fossil Creek Community Park is located in central Fort Collins near the intersection of Shields and Trilby. Encompassing 80 acres, this park gets its name from the small Fossil Creek that runs through it.

Originally the community park was named Trilby Park when it first opened in 1980. But it was renamed Fossil Creek Community Park in 1996 after substantial upgrades and additions.

Today it continues to be a popular spot for the neighboring community and Fort Collins residents thanks to its many amenities.

Amenities and Activities
Fossil Creek Community Park packs a lot into its 80 acres:

  • Playground and splash pad area for children
  • Shelters and grilling areas perfect for gatherings and birthdays
  • Lighted tennis courts
  • Basketball court
  • Baseball/softball fields
  • Over a mile of walking trails that connect to other area trails and features along Fossil Creek
  • Open greenspace for games, picnics, flying kites and relaxing
  • Restrooms

The playground and splash pad area are especially popular in the summer months, as kids can enjoy the equipment and cool off running through the water features. The park also hosts events like movies or concerts in its open fields and attracts athletes who take advantage of the tennis, basketball and baseball facilities.

Whether you’re looking for some family fun, a spot to exercise or just some beautiful scenery along Fossil Creek, Fossil Creek Community Park has something for just about everyone in the community.

Lee Martinez Community Park


Lee Martinez Community Park encompasses a sprawling 534 acres in southwest Fort Collins near the foothills. Named after Lee Martinez, a Sugar Beet farmer and Larimer county commissioner, the park land was purchased by the city incrementally starting in 1966.

Today, Lee Martinez Community Park is one of the most visited parks in Fort Collins thanks to its diverse array of amenities nestled in an awe-inspiring natural setting. The Horsetooth Foothills provide a gorgeous backdrop here, with Lee Martinez Lake, a section of the Poudre River corridor and a wealth of trails and wildlife within its acres.

Amenities and Activities
Some of the highlights and attractions at Lee Martinez Community Park include:

  • Playgrounds, courts, sports fields and open space for games and picnics
  • Restrooms and shelters ideal for gatherings
  • Over 4 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking of various difficulties
  • Access to Poudre River Trail
  • Canoe, kayak and other non-motorized boat access to Lee Martinez Lake
  • Fishing – the lake is stocked with trout and smallmouth bass
  • Wildlife viewing – keep an eye out for heron, eagles, songbirds, deer, fox and more!
  • RC Car Track
  • Dog Park
  • Community gardens with plots for Fort Collins residents
  • Access to cross country skiing trails in winter

Offering a little something for everyone with both active recreation and opportunities to relax amid nature, Lee Martinez Community Park is popular with outdoor enthusiasts, families, gardening hobbyists, birders and all kinds seeking beautiful Colorado scenery.

Fort Collins Senior Center and Gardens


The Fort Collins Senior Center and Gardens offers a vibrant recreation and community space catered for older adult residents aged 55+. Located southeast of Library Park in downtown Fort Collins, the facility opened in 2010 and sits on 4 acres.

The Senior Center and Gardens campus incorporates the main building along with thriving garden plots and attractive outdoor seating areas that foster community and socialization.

Amenities & Activities
The Fort Collins Senior Center provides many amenities and activities, including:

  • Social areas and furnished multipurpose rooms for games, arts, meetings and events
  • Fitness center and indoor walking track
  • Arts and crafts rooms / studios
  • Computer lab and lounge
  • Dance/exercise classes like yoga, tai chi and Zumba
  • Woodshop
  • Billiards
  • Onsite café
  • Gardening plots for residents along with public gardens
  • Outdoor patio areas with games
  • Ping pong
  • Library exchange
  • Educational seminars, workshops and more

With its vibrant roster of activities and classes as well as plenty of spaces to socialize and meet new people, the Senior Center promotes engagement, creativity and wellness for older adults.

The gardening areas provide a centering outdoor hobby while the public gardens give beauty to enjoy for all visitors. Altogether, the Fort Collins Senior Center and Gardens facility enriches the lives of local seniors while also adding community green space.

Rolland Moore Park


Rolland Moore Park sits on 114 acres in southeast Fort Collins, bounded by City Park Drive and Redwood Street.

The park gets its name from Judge Rolland Moore, a prominent figure in early Fort Collins history who advocated for the site’s preservation as park land. When residential and commercial development threatened the area in the 1960s, Judge Moore led efforts for the city to acquire the property to maintain its natural beauty and value.

His vision and persistence paved the way for generations to enjoy this scenic riverside park up to the present day.

Amenities & Activities
Rolland Moore Park incorporates a diverse array of amenities amid its scenic setting:

  • 1.5 miles of trails along the Cache la Poudre River
  • Restrooms
  • Playgrounds for both older and younger children
  • Basketball court
  • Open greenspace for games and picnics
  • Access to Poudre River Trail
  • Wildlife viewing – keep an eye out for bald eagles, deer, songbirds and more!
  • Rolland Moore Park Pool – featuring lap lanes, diving boards, waterslides and more
  • Picnic shelters available by reservation
  • Community gardens with 85+ plots for residents

Situated along the Poudre River, Rolland Moore Park delights visitors with opportunities to take in views of nature while strolling scenic trails and viewing diverse wildlife. More active recreation like swimming and basketball can be found here as well.

With its community gardens and picnic shelters, Rolland Moore also serves as a gathering place for residents. Altogether it’s both a scenic oasis and vibrant community park.

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park


The Farm at Lee Martinez Park offers visitors the opportunity to experience a hands-on urban farm while enjoying green space in the city. Located in Lee Martinez Community Park, The Farm encompasses 4 acres near the park’s nature center and Includes a working farm site, engaging programs and access to beautiful walking trails.

Initiated by the City of Fort Collins in conjunction with the nonprofit organization Growing Gardens, The Farm aims to foster education around locally-grown organic produce and regenerative agriculture.

Amenities & Activities
Some features and highlights of The Farm at Lee Martinez Park include:

  • Rows of organic vegetables, fruits and flowers
  • Bee hives and pollinator gardens
  • Small livestock and fowl like chickens and goats
  • Children’s garden with hands-on exhibits
  • Classes, volunteering opportunities and school field trips
  • Farm stand selling produce on-site
  • Compost demonstration site
  • Access to nature center and over 4 miles of walking trails
  • Sweeping foothills views

The Farm provides visitors, students and volunteers access to a thriving model of sustainable urban agriculture. Whether participating in a workshop, taking a tour or simply buying some fresh produce, visitors of all ages get to learn while supporting the local food web.

The fact that The Farm is situated within the natural beauty of Lee Martinez Park provides the added benefit of accessing meadows, foothill vistas and the campus’ extensive trail network once finished exploring the agricultural offerings.

Edora Park


Edora Park encompasses 100 acres in central Fort Collins, southwest of the historic Old Town area. It traces its origins as a gathering place back to the late 19th century, when the community pooled funds to purchase land for ‘Edora City Park’ as a venue for an agricultural exposition.

While the Northern Colorado Fair that descends from the original expo has changed names and locations over the decades, Edora Park has endured as a well-loved event venue and recreation spot for generations of Fort Collins residents.

Today Edora Park carries on the tradition of bringing the community together through its facilities and programming.

Amenities & Activities
Some aspects that make Edora Park special today include:

  • Home to The Farm at Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC), offering year-round swimming and ice skating
  • Fields and facilities ideal for sports like baseball, tennis and BMX racing
  • Community events and festivals held regularly, like Fortoberfest
  • Shelters, band shell and spaces to accommodate food trucks, music and large crowds
  • Playground and splash park area for children
  • Access to Spring Creek Trail
  • Skate park
  • Community gardens
  • Tree Nursery

Offering a diverse mix of recreation opportunities and event hosting capabilities, Edora Park remains deeply woven into the fabric of Fort Collins. Locals gather here to swim, play sports, attend markets, concerts or festivals and more throughout the year.

Legacy Park


Legacy Park is located across Collindale Golf Course northeast of Fort Collin’s Old Town area. Occupying 120 acres donated in 1997 by Hewlett-Packard as well as some adjoining city land, Legacy Park connects to a number of other recreational trails and greenways.

As its name indicates, Legacy Park provides a living inheritance of precious greenspace for future generations in Fort Collins to enjoy thanks to Hewlett-Packard’s visionary donation. Visitors today can honor that gift by accessing and appreciating all that this park has to offer.

Amenities & Activities
Some highlights and recreational opportunities available at Legacy Park include:

  • Over 3 miles of scenic walking, running and mountain biking trails
  • Connection via trails to city and county natural areas and open spaces
  • Trail access to reservoirs, the foothills and the iconic Horsetooth Rock
  • Dog-friendly facilities like waste bags and water
  • Restroom facilities
  • Wildlife viewing – watch for mule deer, red-tail hawk, owls, foxes, coyotes and a variety of songbirds along the trails and waterways
  • Interpretive signs sharing background on local ecology and history

Offering plenty of amenities catering to outdoor enthusiasts, Legacy Park also stands out for its pivotal role in connecting broader trail networks around Fort Collins. The park provides a green refuge and recreational hub in the city with sweeping vistas and opportunities to access diverse wildlife and ecosystems via adjoining natural spaces.

Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area


Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area protects almost 250 acres of fragile riparian habitats in northwest Fort Collins. Under stewardship of the City’s Natural Areas Department, the area has been gradually acquired and restored starting in the early 1990s.

Prior to restoration efforts, the land here had endured disturbances like aggregate mining, tree clearing and the encroachment of non-native species. By reclaiming and preserving this area, the wetlands now support critical wildlife habitat and flood control capacity – all while providing a beautiful natural area for community enjoyment.

Amenities & Activities
Visitors to Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area can enjoy amenities including:

  • Over 2 miles of trails providing stunning views of Fossil Creek, wetlands and diverse wildlife
  • Opportunities for nature study, bird watching, photography and relaxation
  • Connectivity to regional trail networks like the Poudre River Trail
  • Interpretive signs highlighting local ecology, plant identification and history
  • Songbird viewing areas
  • Benches and picnic tables along trail routes
  • Access for fishing along Fossil Creek with license

As one of Fort Collins’ most precious natural regions, the wetlands provide essential ecosystem services like water filtration and flood control in addition to ample recreation and breathtaking scenery. Community members and visitors appreciate this natural area as a place to walk, birdwatch and reflect amid conserved wild lands – along with admiring Fossil Creek itself, which remains the living heart of the landscape.

McMurry Natural Area


McMurry Natural Area occupies 157 acres in northwest Fort Collins, set apart as protected open space in 1992. Encompassing diverse ecology like grassland, wetland and riparian habitat, McMurry Natural Area’s conservation status safeguards invaluable plant diversity and wildlife habitat within the city limits.

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department stewards and manages McMurry Natural Area with the principal aims of ecological preservation and restoration. Ongoing ecological management practices here include weed mitigation, prescribed fire site preparation, planting native vegetation and enhancing wetlands functionality.

Amenities & Activities
McMurry Natural Area amenities and recreation opportunities include:

  • A flat, accessible crushed gravel trail running the perimeter of the natural area with benches for wildlife viewing
  • Connectivity to regional trail networks like the Spring Creek Trail
  • Bird watching – look for red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, veery and more!
  • Sightings of mammals like fox, coyotes, deer and more
  • Interpretive signs highlighting local ecology and plant communities

As one of the access points to Poudre River Trail, McMurry Natural Area’s trail also serves as part of a broader regional recreation corridor. Visitors enjoy birdwatching, nature walks and stunning prairie vistas here in a protected natural landscape – just minutes from the city. With sweeping views and chances to spot diverse fauna, McMurry Natural Area provides a scenic escape.

Aster Park

Aster Park is a smaller neighborhood park encompassing just 3 acres in central Fort Collins between Shields Street and Spring Park Drive.

Though compact in size, Aster Park punches above its weight by offering family recreation opportunities and pleasant green space within a dense residential area. Its name pays tribute to wild asters, iconic Colorado flowers found growing across Fort Collins.

Amenities & Activities
Aster Park ammenities include:

  • Playground with swings and main composite structure featuring all abilities access
  • Shaded picnic shelter with tables and grill
  • Connectivity to Spring Creek Trail
  • Open lawn areas for games and relaxing
  • Restroom building

As a pocket park embedded within an old neighborhood, Aster Park provides easy access to playground facilities, trails and park gatherings. It serves as an extension of residents’ own backyards – giving kids room to play and offering greenery beyond yards and streets.

Though compact, Aster Park delivers outsized recreational amenities to ensure dense surrounding blocks have room to breathe, play and unwind while appreciating wild asters and Colorado’s natural heritage.

Conclusion

Encompassing over 100 parks citywide, Fort Collins is rich when it comes to beautiful outdoor recreation destinations and preserved natural areas. As this article covered, Fort Collins offers an incredible diversity of parks ranging from riverfront nature access to vibrant community facilities and gardens.

From the boulders of Legacy Park to the wetlands of Fossil Creek, children’s playgrounds at Spring Canyon to the trails across Lee Martinez, there are endless opportunities in Fort Collins’ parks to suit any outdoors interest while enjoying Northern Colorado’s awe-inspiring landscapes.

Whether cycling through meadows with endless mountain vistas at your back, attending a concert at City Park, or watching bees pollinate flowers at The Farm, Fort Collins’ parks system has an abundance of spaces to suit recreation, community events, relaxation or exploring locally cherished nature and ecology.

Residents and visitors find immense value in the wide spectrum of Fort Collins parks offerings – attesting to the city’s longstanding commitment to cultivating world class parks, trails and nature access for all to enjoy.

Leave a Comment