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Holiday Timesaver Backyard Hike Series: #3 Timber Trail

With the holiday season upon us, it's easy to get too busy to get outside and be active. However, with so many options so close, there is no excuse not to get out - so we are setting up a series of short hikes closer to home that are designed to accommodate busy schedules, visiting family members and spur of the moment change in plans. Join us if you can and bring friends and family! Each of these hikes will be in Lory State Park - a few minutes drive from downtown Fort Collins. Because there is a per vehicle fee to enter the park, we are going to meet at Vern's and pack as many people into vehicles as is legal and safe before heading into the park. The other good news - dogs are allowed! Depending on the trail and sun exposure, traction may be needed at times. 

#3 - Timber Trail with alternate return routes:

The third hike is designed to get us all out on New Year's Day and start the year off right! While it's not a hike with a lake or summit at the end, it's a great hike with some challenging parts to it to keep it real. PLUS, we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the trail head! The full hike is not necessarily a "timesaver" hike due to its length, but because it's out and back, hikers can choose how far they go considering the time they have or take alternate routes back that shorten the hike considerably. We'll take the Timber Trail for a longer venture (total of 8.4 miles, out and back) with the alternate routes back totaling only 3.8 miles or approx. 4.2 miles round trip. The alternate routes back are also less strenuous and would accommodate younger or less experienced holiday hikers.

About Timber Trail: This moderate to difficult trail ascends from the Lory State Park group picnic area and goes all the way to the ridge behind Arthur's Rock. The trail climbs through meadows and mountain shrub, changing to pine and fir in the upper elevations. There are some steep switchbacks and rocky scrambles to cross in getting to the top of the Well Gulch drainage. It is a true out and back hike and we'll likely pause for a backpack lunch at the top of the trail, just behind Arthur's Rock.

Alternate Routes: For those that opt for a shorter hike, we will all take the Timber Trail 1.8 miles up (note that this portion of the Timber Trail has some steep switchbacks and can be strenuous at times) to either the junction of the Kimmons Trail or another half mile up to the Well Gulch Nature Trail. At either of these junctions, hikers can choose to head down the mountain and eventually connect to the West Valley Trail that takes you back to the parking area/beginning trail head. While we are making this hike flexible for all, for safety reasons we do ask that noone hikes alone and that you inform the hike leaders if you take one of the alternate routes back.

Breakfast anyone?  For those that want, let's meet for breakfast at Vern's at 8:00 am before heading up to hike.  

Carpool/Meeting places:  

New Carpool Meeting:  Because this hike is so large, all of us parking at Vern's would cause a hardship on their business. Therefore, I am modifying the carpool meeting place and time to 9:00 am at the North College Subway (1624 N College Ave, near Albertson's).  We will still swing by Vern's to pick up anyone that might have met for breakfast (so far, no takers on that idea) to make sure we get everyone to the trailhead.

Vern's Place is located at 4120 County Road 54G, in Laporte (basically the intersection of Highway 287 and CR 52E).The trailhead for this hike is the Timber Group Picnic area, which is the first right after the visitor's center. There should be ample parking there and there is a restroom.   

If you have any questions on hike day, call Lisa at[masked]-7422.

Times: 

• Carpool meeting time at North College Subway (1624 N College Ave.): 9:00 am

• Carpool meeting time at Vern's: 9:15 am

• Trailhead meeting time at Timber Group Picnic area: 9:30


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  • Pam L.

    Very nice. It was a great way to start the year.

    1 · January 2, 2014

  • Heather

    Great hike! Thanks, Lisa for organizing it.

    1 · January 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow what a perfect way to start the new year. A challenging trail, bracing weather and of course a wonderful group of hikers. Thank you Lisa B.

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Darlene

    4

    January 1, 2014

  • Linda F.

    What a wonderful way to start the New Year!!! Thanks, Lisa!

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • camille r.

    Nothing like one of the best ways to bring in the New Year, great friends good exercise ... simply magical

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Sonia Van Z.

    Good way to ring in the new year. Thanks Lisa!

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Lisa B.

    Thank you all for sharing this day together! It was so fun and a wonderful way to start 2014! Happy New Year everyone!

    2 · January 1, 2014

  • Diane D.

    great group of New Years Day hikers. Fun trail and great views. Thx Lisa!

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Cory P.

    It was perfect weather but it turned real cold right at the end which again is perfect. I got a real workout today. Nice to meet some new people in a new group

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Chip D.

    Another fun hike & a great way to kick off the New Year. Lisa thank you for organizing the 3 Lory State Park hikes over the holidays.

    2 · January 1, 2014

  • Cynthia Z.

    Great hike. Trails were a little muddy but still good. Thanks a lot Lisa. We totally didn't get lost!

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, not enough sleep and weather. Have fun!

    January 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorey guys not feeling well after last night. See you next time.

    January 1, 2014

  • John

    I'll miss seeing y'all. Happy new year!

    January 1, 2014

  • John

    I'll miss seeing y"all. Happy new year!

    January 1, 2014

  • Lisa B.

    Hey everyone - Happy New Year! Only two people said they would like to meet at Vern's for breakfast before the hike - Darlene and Stephanie - so if you two want to connect for breakfast have at it. We'll see you tomorrow.

    December 31, 2013

  • Jenny

    I will meet at Subway. Can't wait to get to hike again!

    December 31, 2013

  • Jim

    we will meet at Subway

    December 31, 2013

  • Casey

    Its snowing in the high country and have a invite to ski, so another spot open for somebody.

    December 31, 2013

  • Diane D.

    I will meet at Subway at 9 AM. see you all tomorrow
    Happy New Year

    December 31, 2013

  • Lisa B.

    Hey everyone - please note new carpool meeting time and place due to sheer numbers of people. Email has been sent to all YES RSVP. See you tomorrow! Happy New Year!

    1 · December 31, 2013

  • Diane D.

    I will meet at Vern's too. I don't have a park pass so if I can catch a ride that would be great.

    December 30, 2013

  • Andrew

    Actually, I'll meet you all at Vern's at 915. I have a pass and seating for 3 more.

    1 · December 30, 2013

    • Pam L.

      It will be nice to see you again. Will thought he saw you last time but I was totally unawre.

      December 30, 2013

  • Heather

    I will meet you all at the trailhead.

    December 30, 2013

  • Lisa B.

    Hey everyone - great to see so many signed up for this hike! It should be a great time. We do have three on the wait list so if your plans have changed and you cannot make it, please change your RSVP so that those on the wait list move up in time. Looking forward to seeing everyone New Years Day!

    December 30, 2013

  • Cynthia Z.

    Lisa, we'll meet at the trailhead and will probably take the short route back. Thanks.

    1 · December 29, 2013

  • Lorrie

    Will give up my spot to next on the waiting list....thinking I'm not likely make this with a busy work schedule this week - have fun!

    December 29, 2013

    • Lisa B.

      We'll miss you Lorrie but thanks for letting us know. Have a good week!

      December 29, 2013

  • linda f.

    Do you have room for me? Lin

    December 28, 2013

    • Lisa B.

      Linda - You will almost certainly get in - as there will be people drop off/change their RSVP as time gets closer. As people change their RSVPs you will automatically be moved up the list and your RSVP will go from Waiting to Yes and you will be notified of that automatically. So... be patient and my guess is that by Monday you'll see some changes. I will monitor it as well and keep in touch!

      December 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can someone tell me where Vern's is?

    December 27, 2013

    • Jenny

      If you need a breakfast suggestion, their cinnamon rolls are heavenly!

      December 27, 2013

    • Lisa B.

      For all wondering - the location of Vern's Place is listed in the hike description at the bottom by the carpool info. Jenny's responses were spot on on both counts!!

      December 27, 2013

  • Chip D.

    I will meet you at the trailhead.

    December 27, 2013

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