Do you have a senior dog at home who loves fresh air and sunshine? Even as dogs age, it is still beneficial for them to get out for walks. Controlled exercise (leash walks) tailored to the ability and needs of your dog are a great way to provide enrichment. Providing an outlet for mobility; even one walk a day, keeps joints moving and can help maintain your dog’s muscle mass and strength. Being outside and enjoying new sights and smells provides excellent mental stimulation. For this article, our team created a list of relatively easy walks and strolls in the Northern Colorado area for you to check out with your senior pup.
“A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.”
— O. A. Battista
River’s Edge Natural Area in Loveland
Take a walk around several ponds with a beautiful snow capped mountain view. There are picnic shelters and a fishing pond. There are 3.8 miles of natural surface trails with a total of 5 trails. Each trail or loop is a mile or less. If you head East, you can find a relatively flat trail that goes along the Big Thompson river and will take you to the Old Fairgrounds Park.
Address: 950 W First St. Loveland 80537
Note: The photos of the trails in this article are credited to the website listed.
Wild Loops to Keyhole: Devil’s Backbone Open Space in Loveland
Check out red-tailed hawks, wild flowers, and unique rock structures with this trail in West Loveland. There are several trails in this area, but this 2.1 mile loop is one of the most popular as it will lead you to the beautiful “Keyhole” rock formation. This trail is rated as easy but it does have about 221 feet of elevation gain.
Address: 1725 Hidden Valley Dr, Loveland, CO 80538
Mariana Butte Natural Area in Loveland
This 1.3 mile trail is right by the Mariana Butte golf course and provides beautiful panoramic views of the mountains. It is rated as easy but does have about 200 feet of elevation gain.
Address: 701 Clubhouse Dr, Loveland, CO 80537
Spring Creek Trail in Fort Collins
This trail travels more than 7 miles across Fort Collins and you can go as short or as long of a distance as you like! The west side near Cottonwood Glen Park is a great place to start and explore. The park features a small playground and open space if the kids want to join!
Address: 3074 S Overland Trail, Fort Collins, CO 80526
Prospect Ponds Natural Area in Fort Collins
The trails in this area connect to the broader Poudre River trails throughout Fort Collins. This natural area features a quaint quick 1.5 mile relatively flat figure 8 loop trail around two ponds. There is access to picnic tables and fishing as well! Lastly, this natural area is known for some excellent bird watching.
Address: 2108 Sharp Point Dr, Fort Collins, CO 80525
The Annual Flower Trail Gardens Outside of the University Center of the Arts in Fort Collins
This is a beautiful flat place to go for a walk and admire all of the beautiful flowers; more than 1,200 varieties, in fact!
Address: 1400 Remington St., Fort Collins, CO 80521
Note: The photos of the trails in this article are credited to the websites listed.
We hope you find quality time with your senior dog to enjoy one of these beutiful trails here in Northern Colorado!
Written by: Dr. Emilea Burton, Caring Pathways Veterinarian
After spending several years in general practice, Dr. Emilea learned about Caring Pathways and the important services they provide in the community. She believes palliative care and providing a peaceful end of life transition are perhaps the most meaningful gifts we can give to our pets. She is grateful for the opportunity to bring comfort and compassion to families and pets during these final stages of life.