15 miles, 1161 ft
Strava segment: Beet dams & dirty dairy
This route is about 70% road and 30% gravel, totally navigable with a road bike. It takes you over the dams then past the dairy via a dirt road and off on some other dirt roads north of 287. It’s a great intro to some of the dirt northern Fort Collins has to offer.
Turn by turn
Start at Overland and CR42C (aka Dixon Canyon Road), heading west on CR 42C. Go up the super steep road and keep going straight at the top. This will put you on NCR23 (aka Centennial Drive.)
Follow NCR23 all the way to Laporte, then go left (west) at the T-intersection onto Rist Canyon Road.
Follow Rist Canyon Road for 1.8 miles to NCR27E. Go right (north) on NCR27E, a dirt road.
After about 0.9 miles, NCR27E will turn to the right and put you on CR54E. Feel free to stop into the Howlling Cow Café, they have amazing coffee! Keep following that until it runs into 287.
Go right (southeast) onto 287. Be cautious as the cars will be going by very fast, but the shoulder is nice and wide. Ride alongside 287 for just 0.4 miles, then take the first left onto WCR56. There is a left turn lane, but, again, be super careful about the cars, they are often going over 65 miles per hour.
Once you are clear of 287, head up a series of dirt roads. The first one is WCR56, which you’ll follow for about a mile.
Take a left (east) onto NCR23E. Follow NCR23E for 0.6 miles, then go right (south) onto WCR56E.
Follow WCR56E for about 2 miles, then it will intersect with Overland Trail on the north side of 287 and you’re done! To get back to town, go right and you’ll run into 287 again. Cross it (carefully) and head into Laporte. Stop off at Me Oh My Pie because you deserve it!
Start at Overland Trail and CR42C.
42C turns into NCR23.
NCR23 to Rist Canyon road left (west)
Right on NCR27E.
NCR27E turns into CR54E headed right (east)
Go right (Southeast) on 287.
Left (north) on WCR56.
Left (east) on NCR23E
Right (south) on WCR56E to Overland Trail & done.