After exploring Fort Collins for a day, you may consider taking a picnic lunch with you the next morning, to enjoy in nature somewhere during the drive. As you begin driving the Byway, you’ll be passing through Cache la Poudre Canyon and near Greylock Mountain. Along the way, you’ll see Poudre Canyon Chapel, the Poudre River State Fish Hatchery, the Big Bend Sheep Viewing Area and Profile Rock, before viewing Sleeping Elephant Mountain, Poudre Falls, and Chambers Lake. Toward the end of the drive, the route passes the Barnes Meadow Reservoir, Joe Wright Reservoir and Zimmerman Lake before reaching State Forest State Park and the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge.  

Highlighted Attractions

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge

The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, the second largest collection of waterfowl in Colorado was created to offset the loss of nesting habitats in the prairie wetlands of the Midwest. Today, even though it is an important stopover for migratory birds, the refuge supports a diverse array of wildlife including moose. Until the 1970s, there were only a handful of moose wandering in from Wyoming. In 1978, Colorado wildlife managers transplanted 12 moose in the North Park region.  The next year, another dozen were released. Now, you can follow the Moose-Goose Nature trail which winds along the Illinois River with the prospect of viewing the resident moose.  A six-mile self- guided auto trail takes you through a variety of habitats on the western side of the refuge where waterfowl, prairie dogs and pronghorn sheep reside.

Steamboat Springs Gondola

Take a ride up Mt. Werner and enjoy views that can only be appreciated from Steamboat’s gondola in the sky.

Tread of Pioneers Museum

Built at the height of prosperity in Steamboat Springs, the heart of the Tread of Pioneers Museum is a 1901 Queen Anne-style Victorian home furnished appropriately for the period.   Interactive exhibits feature the history of area Native Americans, skiing, agriculture, mining, pioneer settlement, town development, and more. The Western Heritage Exhibit features an extensive collection of firearms, agricultural history and the story of an infamous outlaw, Harry Tracy.  

Historic Fort Collins Walking Tour

Strolling along the streets of Fort Collins Old Town on the historic walking tour (pdf included with detailed itinerary) puts you in the footsteps of the 19th century settlers who came to seek their fortunes. Today, the handsome brick buildings in this district are filled with cafes, boutiques, galleries and more than 80 restaurants spread across a few city blocks. This Main Street is so special, Disney modeled their Main Street USA on Fort Collins. 

Colorado State Forest Headquarters and Moose Visitor Center

Located near the former logging camp of Gould, the Moose Visitor Center tells the story of the North Park moose and the early timber camps, as well providing information on State Forest State Park and its wildlife.

To experience all that Follow the River has to offer, download the complete itinerary! 

The detailed itinerary includes: