This is a wonderful trail, but if you’re interested in riding the entire 20 miles, you may want to avoid it during the first week of July when the Greeley Stampede is in full swing. During the Stampede, the first section of the trail is closed because the trail starts at Island Grove Park in Greeley. That is also where the Greeley Stampede is held.
In addition to the Stampede closure, there is also a trails maintenance closure at the very end of the first trail section, so until the end of 2010, you may want to consider starting your trail journey at the Rover Run Dog Park. This trailhead is accessed by going west on F Street off of 35th Ave.
Once you’ve started your ride, you will enjoy fairly flat terrain as the trail follows the Poudre River. You will notice the water in the river getting consistently clearer as you head west toward the mountains and its source.
You will pass through a housing development and one of the more interesting portions of the trail. Although the route is mostly wide open with good views of James Michener’sCentennial country, there is one small portion of the trail that is bordered by a short sandstone cliff. With the steep rock bank on one side and the Poudre River on the other, this is definitely an area to stay on the trail. In addition to the two barriers mentioned, there is also a patch of poison ivy between the river and the trail. There are warning signs along the path, so now you’ve been doubly cautioned. Stay on the trail!!
Another welcome feature along the trail is the historical signage. Occasional postings remind you of the western heritage in this area. If you want to really enjoy the trail and its surrounding heritage, I recommend you pick up James Michener’s epic novel Centennial. It’s extremely long, but well-written and interesting. You will fully appreciate the history and landscape of this trail once you’ve read Mr. Michener’s book.
You will eventually end up in the town of Windsor. This town has played a major role in the Kodak Corporation, and you will see reminders of it, such as Eastman Park and Kodak Watchable Wildlife Area.
Hopefully this trail will soon be connected to the Poudre River Trail in Fort Collins. In the meantime, enjoy this eastern section of the trail and take lots of pictures. The Eastman and Kodak corporations would want it that way.