Sunday, October 24, 2010

Soapstone

I went for a great run Saturday morning at Soapstone Prairie. This is a Fort Collins Natural Area opened just last year. Ean and I met up with Mary, Jennifer and John and drove 25 miles north of Fort Collins on CR 15 to Soapstone. It was a cold, windy and rainy morning, and we were the only visitors to the trail head. Soapstone borders Red Mountain (Larimer County Open Space) and Big Hole Open Space (Cheyenne, WY). There are 50 miles of trails within the three open spaces making for numerous possibilities for great runs including a 34 mile perimeter loop.



We headed out on a loop to the west on some great trails that rolled along the hillside, through the valley and up and over the ridge. All the trails are smooth, undulating single track that make for great running. The landscape and views were awesome even on this cold, grey fall day.
John and I did a 6-mile loop via the outside of the Mahogany Loop, the Valley Trail and the Towhee Loop. Then we ran back up the Towhee Loop and met up with the rest of the gang and ran the inside of the Towhee Loop and the Mahogany Loop and back the trail head for a total of 12 miles. After some snacks and warmer clothes at the cars, Ean, John and I headed back to Fort Collins while Mary and Jennifer headed out for another 10 miles on the Pronghorn Loop.


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