Lazy River CO Front Range - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-24-2013   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Lazy River CO Front Range

Hey Team,

I know I'm an outsider here but figured you guys know the rivers better than anyone else and could provide the most insight. Looking for a place to float for 3 or 4 miles on Saturday with a group for my buddy's birthday. Mellow is the name of the game. Was thinking Poudre from Gateway Park to Picnic Rock, St. Vrain through Longmont along the greenway, Boulder Creek from 55th to 75th or South Platte for a few miles north of Deckers. Once again, I realize this is not the type of thrill that most of you go for but thought that some of you might be able to offer insight. Any replies are greatly appreciated!


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Old 06-24-2013   #2
FatmanZ's Avatar
Northern Utah, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 688
Filter Plant is only 2 miles long and a quick float at current levels but fun and real easy to scout from the road. The lower mile is much easier than the upper mile. Easy to lap if you have shuttles or find rides.
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Old 06-25-2013   #3
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Poudre through Fort Collins is an awesome float. A couple spots that you need to get out to walk around dams, but there are clear trails to do so. You can put it at Taft Rd. or Shields, and float either to college (1-2 hours), or if you walk around the rapids (which are floatable) right after college you can keep going all the way down to Prospect which would give you another hour or so. Its a nice float and there's always people doing it.

Gateway to picnic is class II - III so not as mellow, definitely quicker and rockier.
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Old 06-25-2013   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 132
I've heard from a friend this section of the Saint Vrain where there is a proposed river park is a beautiful section but I have yet to go down it my self. As far as mellow goes, first time canoeists do float here. There may be a fence that is an easy portage, like I said, I haven't personally been, but have had others rave about it for a mellow scenic flat water experience close by.

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Old 06-25-2013   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Thanks for your replies guys! I really appreciate the input. The Gateway to Picnic option did seem like it might be more than we were hoping for. Used to tube boulder creek well above Eben G Fine in my college days and the rough ride was always fun but not what we're looking for this time around. I looked into the town ride in Fort Collins but gathered that trespassing might be involved in some of the walkarounds and/or hanging branch danger? That type of ride is definitely more like what we want but with a group of 15 or so I don't want to put anybody in a precarious spot. St. Vrain through Longmont from Golden Ponds to 1st Ave is kinda becoming my first choice as a good mellow option. The greenway surrounds it the whole way so private property wouldn't be an issue although there are likely strainers hanging in the water. Doesn't hurt that Lefthand Brewery is right alongside! Anybody know anything or have thoughts on this option?
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Old 06-25-2013   #6
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 19
There is a trail (aka, Poudre trail) that follows the entire river through Fort Collins, so there shouldn't be any issues with trespassing. Tubing the river though town with a bunch of friends and beer is a local past-time and if you are doing it on a weekend, good chance you'll find others doing it. The trail is intended for the public, so if you decide to do the town run, you'll see a lot of people on tubes, bikes, horses, swimming, running, etc. Like everyone said, the entire section is very calm and there are is a damn here and there (depending on where you start), but most tubers just flow through it since it's not any type of class. However, super easy to portage with the Poudre trail next to the river.

Below is a link to the map of the Poudre trail. The entire section from Lions Park to CSU Environmental learning center is close to 15 miles long. You can always stop at New Belgium or Odell's as you're floating by.
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Old 06-25-2013   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Great information. Sounds like floating through Ft. Collins is the way to go. Arkriverrat, I looked at the area you mentioned but wasn't sure about the property/trespassing concern. Looked like an ideal stretch of river though! Saw a news story about some kids getting caught in a strainer a few weeks ago in Ft. Collins so I'll just be sure to let the crew know to be careful. Sounds like Shields down to Mulberry or so will be a good 2-3 hour float and provide a stop at Odell along the way. We can always go further or reload again higher up if need be. Anyone else who wants to contribute to the conversation please feel free. The more information the better! You guys are the true keepers of the rivers and I really appreciate you advising a lowly tuber like myself.
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