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Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail

Pineridge Natural Area, Fort Collins

Fort Collins/Greeley/Loveland, Colorado

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Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail

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  • Vault toilet facility at Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Trailhead for Dixon Reservoir and the great Pineridge Natural Area.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Steep decline boat ramp for small watercraft at Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Picnic shelter/area at the hikes trailhead.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Anglers on Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Angler on Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Angler on Dixon Reservoir's north shore.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Mountain biker and prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) along the Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Dixon Reservoir's east shore.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • View of Dixon Reservoir from Pineridge.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • View southwest of the Pineridge Natural Area.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Mountain biker on the Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • View of Dixon Reservoir from the south end.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) along the shore of Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) on the south end of Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on the south end of Dixon Reservoir.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • Jogger on the Foothills Trail portion of the hike.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
  • View east from the Foothills Trail portion of the hike.- Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Level grade. Kid friendly. Great for mountain biking. Fish-stocked reservoir.
Cons: 
Swimming prohibited in the reservoir.
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Region:
Fort Collins/Greeley/Loveland, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
60.00 ft (18.29 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
2.30 mi (3.70 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,240.00 ft (1,597.15 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Winding around Dixon Reservoir in the foothills of the Rockies, the Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail network spans several miles of beautiful green and gold grassland. From the southern trailhead off of County Road 42C, it circles the reservoir, turning south in parallel with the shore for less than a mile to a junction with the Valley and Foothill trails. Continue right onto the Foothills Trail for three-quarters of a mile to return to the trailhead. For a longer loop, continue south along the Valley Trail to the Timber Trail for a loop that adds two additional miles.

As a hike, the Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail is perfect for families and small children, or as a mellow walk through the park. The trail gains minimal elevation throughout. The network of trails overall, however, is an excellent training opportunity for trail runners. The Viewpoint Spur is a short half-mile trail that ascends a foothill separating Dixon and Horsetooth Reservoirs, and the many junctions and spurs allow runners to mix and match for the desired mileage. The dirt surfaces here are generally soft and forgiving on sore knees.

The Dixon Reservoir Loop Trail passes through grassland and pockets of scrub forest. Heron can be seen patrolling the Dixon Reservoir for its many fish species, and elk, black-tailed prairie dog, and rattlesnakes have all been seen here. Colorado Fish and Wildlife annually stocks Dixon Reservoir with bluegill, channel catfish, black crappy, and grass carp; fishing is allowed here with a permit and a catch-and-release requirement for fish smaller than 15 inches. However, swimming is not allowed. Dogs are required to be leashed at all times. There is a dog park in adjacent Spring Canyon Community Park.

​Note: For specific stocking updates and other fishing rules and regulations, call the Natural Areas Ranger at 970.416.2147. Fishing at Dixon Reservoir requires a permit through Colorado Fish and Wildlife.

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(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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(33 within a 30 mile radius)

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