Larimer County, CO Area Guide

Welcome to Larimer County, Colorado—where the majestic mountain surround us, Western history comes alive and the pioneer spirit infuses our character! The communities of Larimer County are rich in natural beauty, cultural diversity and possess a balance of cosmopolitan ideology with a community-oriented lifestyle. Larimer County residents enjoy an unmatched quality of life. In Larimer County, residents find all the conveniences and amenities of a big city, but without sacrificing the qualities that make our region unique. The beauty of our nature, wildlife and ecology are always just outside our doors in Larimer County, along with a boundless sense of adventure. For professionals, academics and the urban minded, our communities provide universities, high-tech companies, new housing developments, vibrant downtown lifestyles and an endless amount of cultural arts, events and nightlife hotspots. For residents who crave a more laid-back approach to life, small-town values or the privacy that nature provides, Larimer County’s quiet mountain villages, nature preserves and municipal initiatives to encourage conservation make our region the ideal place to relax and “get away from it all”. Larimer County is a “4-season” region, with year-round outdoor activities that range from hiking, skiing, biking and horseback riding to sailing, swimming and exploring our wealth of open space parks. From history, nature, wildlife and sports to culture and the arts, there’s a spectacular assortment of things to see, do and learn in Larimer County’s unique communities. To learn more about the communities, attractions, events and nature of Larimer County living, please visit:

Larimer County Visitor’s Index
http://www.larimerco.com/5visitors/index.htm

Estes Park Visitor’s & Convention Bureau
http://www.larimercountysar.org/Documents/Estes%20Park%20Colorado%20Come%20Catch%20the%20Glow%20Holiday%20Event.htm

Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau
http://www.loveland.org/

Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau
http://www.bouldercoloradousa.com/

Fort Collins Conventions & Visitors Bureau
http://www.visitftcollins.com/

Boulder-Front Range Guide
http://www.colorado.com/Boulder.aspx

Denver Area Attractions
http://www.colorado.com/Denver.aspx

Colorado Tourism Bureau
http://www.colorado.com/


History

The area that is now known as Larimer County was originally populated by the Native American Utes, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, with French fur trappers coming to the area in the early part of the 19th century, after the land had come under United States control with the Louisiana Purchase. At that time, the region was organized under the provisions of the Missouri Territory. Unlike much of Colorado, Larimer County’s history is unique in that it was not centered on the mining industry; in fact, the mining boom of growth and expansion bypassed much of Larimer County, whose early economy was based almost completely in agriculture. The 1858 Treaty of Fort Laramie officially opened the land to non-Native settlement, and in 1861 Larimer County was created as one of the original 17 counties of the Colorado Territory. Irrigation was introduced to the region, expanding its agricultural stronghold. 1862 brought the Camp Collins United States Army outpost to the fledgling county, the genesis of what would eventually become the City of Fort Collins, which was incorporated in 1873 after the Army’s withdrawal. By 1877, the Colorado Central Railroad arrived in Larimer, extending its line north from Golden to Cheyenne with a stopover in nearby Longmont. In 1902, the Great Western Sugar Co. was established in Loveland, and sugar beet agriculture brought a second wave of agricultural expansion to Larimer County. During the 20th and into the 21st century, Larimer County has diversified its economy, bringing progress, expansion and growth to its communities, as well as a forward-thinking attitude towards nature, conservation, industry and social policy. To learn more about the history, cultural traditions, museums and national register of historic sights in Larimer County, please visit:

Larimer County History
http://www.historycolorado.org/oahp/larimer-county

St Vrain Historical Society
http://www.stvrainhistoricalsociety.org/index.html

National Register of Historic Places, Larimer County
http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/co/Larimer/state2.html

Fort Collins Museum
http://www.fcmdsc.org

Colorado Railroad Museum
http://www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org/

Loveland State Amory
http://www.historicalarmory.com/

Enos Mills Homestead Cabin
http://www.enosmills.com/

Fort Vasquez State History Museum
http://www.historycolorado.org/museums/fort-vasquez-museum

Moraine Park Museum and Amphitheater
http://rockymountainnationalpark.com/places/moraine_park_museum.html

Old Mill Park
http://www.stvrainhistoricalsociety.org/Old_Mill_Park.html

Colorado Historical Society
http://www.historycolorado.org/

Old Town Fort Collins
http://coloradoinfo.com/fortcollins/oldtown

The Callahan House
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/callahan/index.htm

Hover Home
http://www.stvrainhistoricalsociety.org/Hover_Home.html

Agricultural Heritage Center
http://www.bouldercounty.org/play/culturalhistory/pages/agheritage.aspx

Old St. Stephen's Church
http://www.stvrainhistoricalsociety.org/old_St_Stephens.html

Doughtery Museum
http://www.bouldercounty.org/play/culturalhistory/pages/doughertymuseum.aspx


Parks and Recreation

Colorado is a nature enthusiast’s dream, and Larimer County’s open-air beauty is known as the “Gateway to the Rockies”. Envision 32,000 acres of pristine open space, conservation easements, recreational facilities and nature preserves to relax, play in, explore and enjoy, and you will have imagined Larimer County! Our crown jewels are without a doubt the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park, which make the residents of Larimer communities buffeted by beauty on all sides. Adjacent to Larimer County is the Boulder Valley, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains at the foot of Flagstaff Mountain, just east of the continental divide. We are also flanked by the Eldorado Canyon and the iconic stone slabs of the Flatirons. The Boulder Creek tributary of the South Platte River flows through the nearby City of Boulder. All of these natural gems converge to create a county that is truly “four-seasons”—our outdoor activities rotate with the seasons, creating an endless amount of sports and recreation available year-round. Skiing, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, equestrian sports, swimming, sailing, kayaking and canoeing are just a few of the more popular regional activities. For those who crave the breathtaking, the daring and the unique, try wilderness excursions, geocaching, hot air balloon flights, glider tours or ziplining. Boulder Creek Path, Arapahoe Ridge Park, Boulder Reservoir, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center, White Rocks Nature Preserve and Cottonwood Hot Springs are among some of the most popular outdoor destinations. To learn more about Larimer County’s great outdoors and what it has to offer you, please visit:

Larimer County Natural Resources
http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/

Colorado State Parks
http://www.parks.state.co.us/

Colorado Waterfalls
http://www.colorado.com/Waterfalls.aspx

Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6IeDdGCqCPOBqwDLG-AAjgb6fh75uan6BdnZaY6OiooA1tkqlQ!!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjBNMDAwMDAwMDA!/?ss=110210&navtype=forestBean&navid=091000000000000&pnavid=null&cid=null&ttype=main&pname=Arapaho/

Rocky Mountain National Park
http://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm

Horsetooth Reservoir
http://www.visitftcollins.com/horsetooth-reservoir

Cottonwood Hot Springs
http://www.cottonwood-hot-springs.com/hotsprings/

White Rocks Nature Preserve
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3038&Itemid=1035

St. Vrain Greenway Trail System
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/parks/park_list/greenwaylist.htm#stvrain

Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2838&Itemid=1016

Boulder Reservoir/ Marfell Lake
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1267&Itemid=3684

Wonderland Lake, Trailhead & Foothills Nature Center
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3790&Itemid=1035

Discovery Trail and Poudre River National Recreation Trail
http://www.rivers.gov/wsr-cache-la-poudre.html

Boulder Creek Path
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9608&Itemid=3170

Pawnee National Grassland
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6IeDdGCqCPOBqwDLG-AAjgb6fh75uan6BdnZaY6OiooA1tkqlQ!!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjJNMDAwMDAwMDA!/?navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=fsm91_058278&navid=170000000000000&pnavid=null&ss=110210&position=Not%2520Yet%2520Determined.Html&ttype=detail&pname=Arapaho

South Platte Trail
http://www.rivertrailonline.org/

Arapahoe Ridge Park
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9558&Itemid=3170

Saint Vrain State Park
http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/StVrain/Pages/StVrainHome.aspx

Eldorado Canyon State Park
http://www.parks.state.co.us/parks/eldoradocanyon/Pages/EldoradoCanyonHome.aspx

Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway
http://byways.org/explore/byways/2113

Big Thompson Canyon
http://coloradoinfo.com/estespark/bigthompsoncanyon

Boyd Lake State Park Bike Trails
http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/BoydLake/Trails/Pages/BoydLakeTrails.aspx

Longs Peak Campground
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/camping.htm

Twin Sisters Peak Trail
http://www.protrails.com/trail.php?trailID=64

Calypso Cascades
http://www.protrails.com/trail.php?trailID=12

Sports and Activities

Larimer County Area Golf Ranges
http://www.golflink.com/golf-courses/searchresults.aspx?coursekeyword=&coursecity=Estes+park&coursestate=CO&coursename=&coursezip=&within=40&p=1

Fort Collins Outdoor Activity Guide
http://www.visitftcollins.com/outdoor-recreation

Eldora Mountain Resort Skiing
http://www.eldora.com

East Valley Horse Trail
http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/Lory/Trails/Pages/LoryTrails.aspx

Alps Boulder Canyon Inn Skiing
http://www.alpsinn.com

Boyd Lake State Park Cross Country Ski Trails
http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/BoydLake/Trails/Pages/BoydLakeTrails.aspx

Zipline Tours
http://coloradoinfo.com/activities/zipline

Mile High Gliding Tours
http://www.milehighgliding.com/

Colorado Geocache
http://www.geocaching.com/local/default.aspx?state_id=6

Sunflower Farm
http://www.sunflowerfarminfo.com/

Mile-Hi Skydiving
http://www.mile-hi-skydiving.com/

Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights
http://www.hotairballoonridescolorado.com/


Attractions and Activities

A broad-based world-view makes the artistic and cultural side of Larimer County a dynamic place to enjoy the more urbane side of living. The downtown areas of our communities are hubs of activity, commerce, nightlife and culture. Family events, live music, cultural exhibits, art showings and scheduled performances add to Larimer County’s metropolitan atmosphere, while public art and outdoor courtyards contribute to the rural charm that makes our region one of a kind. For music, performance and art the Fort Collins Symphony, OpenStage Theatre and Company, Opera Fort Collins, Foothills Pops Band, Canyon Concert Ballet, Larimer Chorale, Youth Orchestra of the Rockies, and the Fort Collins Children's Theatre are local favorites. But make no mistake; shopping and dining are serious business in Larimer County, too! Many of our local restaurants are supplied by farmer’s markets, neighborhood agriculture, and local microbreweries which keep our plates full of inimitable food, organic produce and hand-crafted comfort meals. Larimer County shoppers have a bounty of choice, from the boutiques and businesses of our community downtowns—like Anthology Book Co., Lyric Cinema & Café and Old Firehouse Books—to Larimer Square retailers, the historic Pearl Street Mall and open-air Twenty Ninth Street shopping and restaurant communities of nearby Boulder, the Promenade Shops at Centerra and the Outlets at Loveland.

Theatre, Culture and the Arts

Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra
http://www.fcsymphony.org/

Opera Fort Collins
http://www.operafortcollins.org/

Canyon Concert Ballet
http://www.ccballet.org/

Larimer Chorale
http://www.fortnet.org/lc/

Youth Orchestra of the Rockies
http://www.fortnet.org/YOR/

OpenStage Theatre and Company
http://www.openstage.com/

Foothills Pops Band
http://www.fortnet.org/POPS/

Fort Collins Children's Theatre
http://www.fortcollinschildrenstheatre.org/

Fort Collis Museum of Art
http://www.ftcma.org

Aggie Theatre
http://www.aggietheatre.com

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA)
http://www.bmoca.org/

Images of Rocky Mountain National Park Gallery
http://www.imagesofrmnp.com

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
http://boulderphil.org/

Longmont Chorale
http://www.longmontchorale.org/

Boulder Symphony Orchestra
http://bouldersymphony.org/

Lincoln Center
http://www.fcgov.com

Boulder Theater
http://www.bouldertheater.com/

Longmont Symphony Orchestra
http://longmontsymphony.org/

Boulder Ballet
http://www.boulderballet.org/

Dairy Center for the Arts
http://thedairy.org/

Shopping, Dining, Leisure and Attractions

Downtown Boulder Shopping Guide
http://www.boulderdowntown.com/shopping

Colorado Shopping
http://www.colorado.com/Shopping.aspx

Ft. Collins Shopping Guide
http://www.visitftcollins.com/things-do/shopping
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Ft. Collins Area Restaurant Guide
http://www.visitftcollins.com/dining-nightlife

Shopping and Dining in Loveland
http://www.loveland.org/ShopEatExplore/index.php

Colorado Dining Guide
http://www.colorado.com/Eat.aspx

Anheuser Busch Brewery
http://www.budweisertours.com/toursFTC.htm

Larimer Square
http://www.larimersquare.com/

Lyric Cinema & Cafe
http://www.lyriccinemacafe.com

Anthology Book Co.
http://www.anthologybookcompany.com

The Outlets at Loveland
http://www.outletsatloveland.com/

Old Firehouse Books
http://www.oldfirehousebooks.com

Pearl Street Mall
http://www.boulderdowntown.com/visit/history-of-pearl-street

Twenty Ninth Street
http://www.twentyninthstreet.com/

Downtown Longmont
http://www.downtownlongmont.com/

Promenade Shops at Centerra
http://www.thepromenadeshopsatcenterra.com/


Events

Festivals and special events in Larimer County offer the opportunity for neighbors to meet neighbors and come together as friends. In addition to the many fine lectures, performances and workshops scheduled year-round, there are a number of festivals and events available to our residents, including the Scottish Highlands Festival, Larimer County Fair & Rodeo, Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Silent Film Series, Colorado Marathon, and the Applewood Arts Festival. To learn more about the events, activities and festivals of Larimer County, please visit:

Larimer County Fair & Rodeo
http://larimercountyfair.org/

Scottish Highlands Festival
http://www.scotfest.com/Scottish_Festival/Home.html

Boulder International Film Festival
http://www.biff1.com/

The Ranch Events Complex
http://www.treventscomplex.com/

Boulder International Fringe Festival
http://www.boulderfringe.com/

Colorado Shakespeare Festival
http://www.coloradoshakes.org/

The International Film Series
http://www.internationalfilmseries.com/

Boulder Creek Festival
http://www.bceproductions.com/boulder-creek-festival/

Colorado Chautauqua
http://www.chautauqua.com/upcoming_events.php

Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show
http://bcn.boulder.co.us/community/fmc/fmcshow.htm

Chautauqua Silent Film Series
http://www.chautauqua.com/silent_film_series.php

Applewood Arts Festival
http://www.applewoodartsandcrafts.com/events/loveland.php

Colorado Marathon
http://www.ftcollinsmarathon.com/

Diane Stow
Diane Stow
Associate