Hoping on the Poudre Trail from my house is easy. The trail will either take you southeast past Old Town and New Belgium all the way to the Environmental Learning Center. Or, you can take it northwest. Eventually this trail turns into the Pleasant Valley Trail maintained by Larimer County once you hit the town of La Porte. The northwest route is one of my favorite bike rides. The mostly flat path weaves next to the river. You pass houses, horse stables and breath taking views of the foothills over pastures.
In the summer, it can feel like you are lost in a forest the trees are so plush in some parts. Just before you get to La Porte, you ride over the coolest bridge I have ever seen. It zig zags across the Poudre and surrounding marsh lands. I suggest stopping somewhere in the middle and just watching the river flow. When I stopped to enjoy the scenery of the bridge during the Horsetooth Half Marathon last year, you could feel the vibrations of all the runners on the bridge and the flow of the river beneath it. It was energizing.
Once onto the Pleasant Valley trail, you’ll pass Cache La Poudre Schools and a disc golf course tucked between trees. From here, you can go west up towards Rist Canyon and through the tiny town of Bellvue, or go a block east to Bar Double S.
We make the trip to Bar Double S often in the summer. The small space is rustic and homey with a stage area in one corner. Supposedly, a bar has been at this location for over 100 years serving trappers, miners, ranchers and soldiers. You will find great live music playing almost every night, mostly bluegrass and americana. There is always a good selection of beer, last time I was there I was able to get a brew from Firestone Walker and Alyse had Chimay. The best part is the back patio. It has everything a patio needs, a stage, tons of seating, a fire pit and games.
There are a couple of horse shoe pits, and a shuffle board court and the best game of all “ring game”. We actually have no idea what this game is called (I’ve heard lots of different names for it), but it is tons of fun. You stand behind a line and swing a metal ring, attached with a string to a tree above you, and try to catch it on a hook on the fence in front of you. You score points by either hitting the hook, or catching the ring on the hook. Sounds crazy, but it’s a blast. We will drink beers and play this game for hours.
The ride to Bar Double S is almost 12 miles round trip from Old Town. It is a great way to spend a summer evening, and I can’t wait for more rides this year.