Stoked to Start: Rad Mountain Biking Trails for Beginners in Fort Collins


Fort Collins is home to some rad mountain bike trails for all ability levels, and with summer right around the corner it’s important to start planning your bike adventures with your bros. With that in mind we’ve selected two great beginner trails that will get you to put that beer down, get off your couch, and start shredding.  For more information of mountain biking basics check out our previous blog about what to bring on your rides!

Blue Sky Trail

Blue Sky Trailhead Map
Directions to Blue Sky Trailhead

Blue Sky Trail is an intermediate trail located on the backside of Horsetooth near the Inlet bay. Blue Sky trail offers some fun single track for riders and has links to other trails to extend your ride.

Trail Length and Difficulty

Blue Sky Trail
Photo Courtesy of mtbproject

Blue Sky Trail is an 8 mile round trip ride. It is 4 miles from the trail head (green arrow) to the end (red arrow). From the end of the trail, there are links to other fun mountain biking trails, such as Indian Summer, Rim Rock and Devil’s Backbone.  While this may seem long for a beginner, it is a very doable with the trail. With the added scenery, the 8 miles will go by quick.Blue Sky Trail Map

Blue Sky Trail is rated at an intermediate trail difficulty. Because it has challenging parts, some new mountain bikers may prefer bike hiking that section of the trail. There is no shame in doing this. The trail provides riders with a good mix of mellow sections, a few challenging sections, and a few technical parts.

Mountain Biking Trail Type

Blue Sky trail is arguably one of the best single track trails near Fort Collins.

Popularity

Blue Sky View
Photo Courtesy of mtbproject

Blue Sky is a very popular trail not only with mountain bikers but also with trail runners and hikers. It’s very popular because of its easy accessibility and ability to link up with additional trails. During the warm Winter months, the trail will get busy. On the weekends in the Summer months, expect the trail to be crowded as well. If you’re not into crowds, weekdays would be the ideal time to go.

To learn more about Blue Sky trail, read past riders riding logs, and view a 3D trail model visit Trail Forks.

Bobcat Ridge Trail

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Map
Directions to Bobcat Ridge

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is located just south of Fort Collins off of County Rd. 32C and offers 17 miles of mountain biking, and hiking trails that range in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Since Fort Collins lays at the foot of the Rocky Mountains the trail system offers a variety of biking options ranging from plains riding to climbing and technical downhill riding, all with the rad mountains in the background. 

Trail Length and Difficulty

Bobcat Ridge Nature Area
Photo Courtesy of mtbproject

Since Bobcat Ridge offers a variety of trail options, bikers have the option of shorter, easier rides in the valley, or much longer technical rides with steep ascents and descents to the west. The main trails at Bobcat Ridge are:

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Courtesy of Fort Collins Open Spaces

Eden Valley Trail (Easy): 1.3 miles
Valley Loop Trail (Easy): 2.0 miles
DR Trail (Intermediate): 3.0 miles
Power Line Trail (Advanced): 2.0 miles
Ginny Trail (Advanced): 5.1 miles

Valley loop trail is a great ride to get started, especially for the beginner. It has rolling hills and fun turns to cruise around. While the other trails that Bobcat Ridge offers are fun they have a more technical aspect, which might be difficult for a new mountain biker, but don’t worry you can always get off your bike and walk.  

Mountain Biking Trail Type

Bobcat Ridge Powerline Climb
Photo Courtesy of mtbproject

All trails located at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area are single track, except the Powerline Trail which follows a dirt road, eventually turning into a single track trail when it connects with the rest of the trail system.

Popularity

View from the Top of Bobcat Ridge
Photo Courtesy of mtbproject

Bobcat Ridge is a popular place for hikers and other bikers during the weekend, but on week days it is empty.  Not many people take the extra drive to come out here.  It is a great trail for an early day off of work, but probably a trail system that you want to stay off of during the weekend.

To learn more about the Bobcat Ridge trail system, read past riders riding logs and view a 3D trail model visit Trail Forks.

Fort Collins has some great mountain biking, and Blue Sky and Bobcat Ridge are just two of the many great trails. Now get up, drink another beer, and plan your next Fort Collins mountain bike adventure.