Ten Places to Photograph in Fort Collins, Colorado

Our second to last Photo Weekend of 2011 will be taking place in Fort Collins, Colorado this weekend. Fort Collins is a city that loves recreating, history and beer. Located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and only a short drive from Estes Park or Rocky Mountain National Park, the access to nature is seemingly endless for a city this size. Even with all this wilderness just a stone’s throw away,  there are quite a few parks and urban recreation areas inside the city limits.

If you are more interested in strolling city streets with your camera than walking trails, there is plenty to photograph downtown too. Fort Collins has done an amazing job preserving Old Town’s historic architecture while maintaining its thriving community of restaurants and shops.

No, I’m not forgetting the beer. This city loves its beer. The largest brewery, New Belgium Brewing Company, is the most well known but it certainly isn’t the only brewery in town. Fort Collins is “ home to a number of microbreweries that together produce one of the largest city volumes of craft-brewed beer in the country.” With all the things I’ve mentioned, there is definitely a ton to photograph.

New Belgium Brewing Company – Fort Collins is considered the Napa Valley of beer in some circles. While this delicious beverage may attract some people to the tasting rooms for the variety of hops and color, I would suggest taking a tour and photographing the equipment, the bottling plant, the vats, etc. Breweries are a great place to photograph.

Horsetooth Reservoir - 1,900 acres of water surrounded by 2,000 acres of public land. It is popular for fishing, boating, camping, swimming, rock climbing and water skiing.

Old Town Fort Collins – There are 23 well-preserved historic buildings in this particular part of Fort Collins. This area is such a picture of the early 1900’s that Disneyland modeled Downtown USA after Old Town Fort Collins. Take a walking tour of downtown to learn more about the history of this neighborhood.

City Park Lake - 85 acres that include ball fields, tennis courts, a playground, a lake, paddle boats, mini-train, fitness course, community outdoor pool and trolley rides. There is also a very cool sculpture next to the lake that is illuminated at night.

Colorado State University Campus – From modern architecture to large historic buildings, this campus has it all if you are interested in photographing structures. There is also a ton of activity at any given time. This is great for photographing people running, walking or on their bikes.

Fossil Creek Park – This 100-acre park is action packed and includes playgrounds, tennis courts, skateboarding, an inline skating park, ball fields, a basketball court, a lake, picnic shelters and a dog park. You have a wide variety of activities to photograph in this park.

Poudre River Trail – This trail follows the Poudre River for approximately 10 miles. There are tons of bicyclists, people fly fishing the river, kayakers, rafters, beautiful scenery and great foot bridges to photograph.

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park - The Farm at Lee Martinez has various farm animals, a farm-history museum, working water hand pumps, Silo Store for crafts and novelties, and children’s garden. You could spend hours here with your camera.

Hot Air Balloons – Apparently there is quite a bit of hot air ballooning going on in Fort Collins. There are multiple companies that take people on rides which would provide a great areal prospective for a photographer. However, just photographing the balloons taking off from one of the city parks would make for great images.

Fort Collins Music Experiment - Fort Collins will be host to over 200 Northern Colorado Bands at over 30 venues April 8th and 9th. This event is a great opportunity to photograph live music and get a taste of Fort Collins’ night life.

Do you know of great places in Fort Collins that I didn’t mention? I’d love to know where you photograph. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

If you do photograph in or around Fort Collins show us your favorites! Post them on our Flickr group page or on our Facebook page. Make sure to tag the images with “Fort Collins.”