LORY STATE PARK
Hit the trail at Lory State Park and enjoy mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding amid some fabulous foothills scenery just minutes from Fort Collins and adjacent to Horsetooth Reservoir.
From rolling valleys to mountainous hillsides, Lory State Park's 20 miles of trails rarely exceed a 12 percent grade. The variety of trails is great for short or long hikes, mountain bike rides, horseback rides and jogs. Backcountry camping is also available for visitors looking for a quiet getaway close to suburban Fort Collins .
The trails on the east side of Lory provide access to some of Horsetooth Reservoir?s bays and coves. Canoeists, kayakers, and rafters can hand-launch their crafts within a short walk from the North Eltuck Bay parking lot. Power boaters can launch their boats at the Horsetooth Dam boat ramp 2 miles away in Horsetooth Reservoir. Power boating is also available at the nearby Boyd Lake State Park. Boaters and off-highway vehicle users can now register boats, OHVs and snowmobiles at Lory State Park during visitor center business hours.
Geology at Lory
Lory encompasses 2,492 acres along the Rocky Mountain foothills in north-central Colorado. Precambrian rocks, mostly pegmatite, granodiorite, tonalite and metasedimentary rocks underlay the park and are exposed over the western two-thirds.
Exposed sedimentary formations include Pennsylvanian and Permian sedimentary rocks lying directly on Precambrian granites and schists creating a pattern along the east side of the Front Range. Stream courses have carved into the sedimentary rocks, creating steep canyons which drain mountain runoff. Sedimentary rocks are also exposed in bands parallel to the western Horsetooth Reservoir shoreline; these include the red siltstone and sandstone Santanka Formation and red calcareous sandstone of the Ingleside Formation.
Fountain Formation conglomerates and sandstones are also present in the vicinity of the reservoir. Metasedimentary rocks lie in east- to west-oriented, roughly parallel bands throughout the park. Tonalite is exposed south of Mill Creek, as is a band of Boulder Creek granodiorite. Pegmatite is exposed on the south-central park boundary. Colluvial deposits can be observed below the Fountain Formation and along Soldier Creek.
Plants at Lory
Ecologically, park uplands are dominated by montane coniferous forest, foothills shrub and grassland communities. Nearly barren rock outcrops and cliffs support lichen and moss communities. Ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, Rocky Mountain juniper and aspen are the dominant forest trees. Forest understory species include common juniper, Oregon-grape, kinnikinnik, penstemon, arnica mountain muhly, Arizona fescue and Parry oatgrass. Shrublands occupy drier slopes and openings within the montane coniferous forest community. Mountain mahogany, bitterbrush, serviceberry, ninebark, buckbrush, snowberry, common gooseberry and bitterbrush are the common shrub species.
Grasslands occupy most of the lower park elevations and are dominated by big and little bluestem, prairie sandreed, blue and side-oats grama, needle-and-thread grass, New Mexico needlegrass, Indian ricegrass and purple threeawn. A variety of riparian and wetland communities are present along drainages and on seeps and springs; some drainages support the rare wood lily.
Wildlife at Lory
Over 175 species of migratory and resident birds are known for this area, including the grassland species lark bunting, horned lark and western meadowlark, raptors, waterfowl and shorebirds attracted to the open water of adjacent Horsetooth reservoir, and park wetland and riparian habitats. Conspicuous birds include the canyon wren, yellow-breasted chat, western tanager and broad-tailed hummingbird. Mule deer, coyote, raccoon, striped skunk, Abert's squirrel, cottontail rabbit, porcupine, ground squirrel and red fox are common sights. Occasional observations of black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, elk, and white-tailed deer also occur.
Located in Larimer County, Colorado, the park was established in 1975. It spans over 2,492 acres of diverse terrain and wildlife habitats.
The area's history dates back to Native American tribes who used it for hunting grounds. Later on during westward expansion era around mid-19th century settlers arrived here.
In early days of settlement cattle ranching became a primary economic activity which continued until late 20th century when land conservation efforts began.
Charles A Lory (1872-1969), former president of Colorado State University is its namesake due his significant contributions towards education and agriculture development within state.
Today it offers recreational activities like hiking trails, horseback riding paths along with camping facilities attracting nature enthusiasts year round.
All Colorado State Parks have entrance fees. All vehicles are required to have an entrance pass and some parks have walk-in fees. Visit the Colorado Park Entrance Pass
The Lory State Park Visitor Center Conference Room offers the perfect location for small business, group, or club meetings. The room can accommodate 25 people and amenities include dry erase board, overhead projector, slide projector, TV/VCR, refrigerator, sink, two coffee makers, microwave, BBQ grill, and a patio picnic area. Reservations may be made by calling 970-493-1623.
The Lory State Park Visitor Center is open Mon-Fri 8-4PM and Saturday and Sunday 8-6PM. The Visitor Center also carries books, postcards and other outdoor related items for sale to support environmental education at the park. Don?t miss the dynamic interpretive exhibits and interactive nature displays.
- Backcountry camping: Lory State Park offers backcountry campsites for a more secluded and adventurous experience.
- Group Camping: Large group sites are available, perfect for family reunions or scout troops.
- Horseman's Campground: This campground is designed specifically for equestrians with horse-friendly amenities.
- Walk-in Tent Sites: These tent-only campgrounds offer privacy and easy access to hiking trails.