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.