“Get that trail-to-yourself feeling at Pinewood Reservoir!”
— Jared Crockett
Larimer County parking permit required. These are $7 a day per vehicle. The same pass is good at all Larimer County parks (e.g. Horsetooth Mountain Park).
The trails around Pinewood Reservoir pass through the Ramsay-Shockey Open Space. There are only two trails, Besant Point Trail
and Shoshone Trail
, and together they don't amount to very much mileage. But that aside, they do have other redeeming qualities: pretty good flow, some shorter technical challenges, a beautiful serene setting, and minimal to no traffic.
Start this ride at the Ramsay-Shockey Trailhead on the northeast corner of the lake. You'll pedal across the dam and take a left at the restroom on the west end of the dam. As you begin to go downhill towards the lake, you'll see the Besant Point Trail
split off to the right heading uphill. This is a stiff, uphill challenge right off the bat, so use that momentum from the little downhill and beast your way up it.
Follow this trail all the way around to the southeast corner of the lake where there is another trailhead. From here, turn around and head back the way you came. Somewhere around the mid-point of the ride back, you'll encounter the Shoshone Trail
heading up the mountain to your left.
Follow the Shoshone Trail
up the hill. This climb is also somewhat steep and challenging with a few rock steps added in for good measure, and later, a series of wooden steps. Once you're at the top, however, let the good times flow.
The trail flows really nicely, with the exception of one sudden 90-degree turn into a down-step. Keep your eyes out for that. Otherwise, this section of trail is a blast to just open up and let 'er fly down the mountain.
The trail will spit you out right back at the dam where you can zip across back to your car. Riding the trails this way is sort of a reverse lollipop, and it allows you to cover all of the singletrack available here at Pinewood Reservoir.
If you're still up for more, you could turn around and try Shoshone Trail
in the opposite direction, then head back to your car via the Besant Point Trail
and Besant Point Connector.