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Living a Biking Lifestyle in Fort Collins, Colorado

When a city is chosen by Money Magazine as the best small city to live in in the U.S., it is going to be special. Fort Collins, Colorado (population 123,000) is a popular biking community for obvious reasons – it features low crime rates, fantastic outdoor life, small town ambiance, and for those who want them - ample jobs in a high tech business environment.

The city’s great schools and outstanding outdoor life have led to its vibrant development and a place to live. Many high tech companies have located in Fort Collins to escape California and its high prices. Like many fast-growing towns the city has a wide array of restaurants and cultural opportunities. Many come because of the recreational opportunities such as exploring the nearby Rocky Mountains. The city has 60 miles of hiking and biking trails, and most major roads have bicycle lanes.

Formerly known “the lamb feeding capital of the world”, Fort Collins became very successful early in the 20th century as an agricultural center, in particular for sugar beets. A number of historical structures from this period have been preserved and give the town a unique character. Photo of downtown Fort Collins courtesy of Wikipedia and Citycommunications
Fort Collins is a very walkable community, and is great for biking.

Where to Retire in Fort Collins and Home Prices

Fort Collins has many options in retirement and active adult communities (see link at left ). According to the National Association of Realtors the median home value was $630,900 in the 2nd quarter of 2022.

What Is Special about Fort Collins

• Rocky Mountains and attendant recreational opportunities • Diverse community with young and old • Money Magazine’s #1 Small City in America • Many diverse housing opportunities for retirees • Fort Collins has 4,300 acres of green space, 25 miles of in-town trails, and 143 miles of bike lanes.

What Is Not Special about Fort Collins

Economy is high tech dependent. There are complaints about the traffic and nearby urban sprawl.

Climate and Physical Environment

The city is situated 5,000 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains, just east of the Rocky Mountain foothills of the Northern Front Range and approximately 65 miles north of Denver. It has nearby natural attractions like nearby Horsetooth Reservoir for boating and swimming. There are 14 ski resorts in the area. The sun shines almost 300 days a year, snowfall averages 57 inches.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Colorado State University (23,000 students) is in Fort Collins and is the center of many cultural events and attractions. The Lincoln Center has 1,180-seat performance hall, two theaters, as well as exhibit galleries. The center hosts nearly 1,750 events each year. There are a number of theater groups in the city including the Debut Theater Company, Fort Collins Children's Theater, the Front Range Chamber Players, and OpenStage Theater. Larimer Chorale, Opera Fort Collins, and the Fort Collins Symphony provide a variety of musical events. The Fort Collins Public Library is well-funded.


The crime rate is below the national average.

Medical Facilities

The Poudre Valley Hospital is in Fort Collins.


Fort Collins-Loveland Muni is about 10 miles away, although most commercial passenger traffic ended in 2012. The Denver Airport is 70 miles away. Fort Collins is a very walkable community, and is great for biking.

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