Poudre River Whitewater Park
618 N College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Located just north of Old Town, Fort Collins, kayakers, tubers and kids of all ages can enjoy the Poudre River and all it has to offer. This park will bring the river back to a more natural state, help connect the river to downtown, provide safe access to the river, and improve the river floodplain.
In 1986 the City of Fort Collins filed for an in-channel water right on the Poudre River as an attempt to counter others from diverting too much water before it reached the city. After negotiations with the state of Colorado, Fort Collins was able to install a ‘boat chute’ on top of the Coy Ditch Diversion structure just east of College Avenue, thereby ‘diverting’ the water for recreational purposes. Later court rulings and state legislation affirmed the creation of recreational water rights, effectively making the former diversion structure and current Fort Collins whitewater park the basis for a new beneficial use under western water law.
The Poudre River Whitewater Park is an important point on the Heritage Trail where water in industry, agriculture and recreation converge. Look for the Heritage Trail iconography on the interpretive signs within the park.
Click here to learn about the history of the Coy Ditch as it relates to water for agriculture. Click here for more information about water for industry with the Fort Collins Power Plant. Or, click here to understand the former Coy Diversion structure’s impact on water in recreation.
Opening to the public in September 2019
Open year-round from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Visitors have access to two boating features for kayakers and tubers, a pedestrian bridge crossing the Poudre River, a south bank terrace with seating overlooking the river, and a play area for kids. A portion of the riverbank offers full access to people with disabilities.
Beyond the river, the park offers places to sit and walk, off-street parking and access to the Poudre Trail from the south bank terrace.
Visitors Welcome; ADA accessible
The Coy Diversion sign overlooks the headgate structure on the north side of the bridge. The Heritage Trail gateway feature can be seen on the south side of the bridge.