The large public park in the center of Fort Collins is the ideal place to relax, play sports, go for a swim, or do countless other activities when the Colorado weather permits it. Both residents of Fort Collins and visitors to the city can find something to enjoy at Fort Collins City Park.
History of Fort Collins City Park and Sheldon Lake
The history of City Park in Fort Collins goes all the way back to 1907, when the city purchased land from John Sheldon, a sheep rancher, and converted it into a public park. In 1919, the city constructed a bandstand to hold public concerts and between the 1920s and 1930s, City Park also operated as a campground for motorists heading west.
The centerpiece of City Park is Sheldon Lake, named for the former owner. The lake became a popular swimming spot and the city built a pavilion to be a bathhouse and concession stand. Eventually, a diving tower and warming house were added. By 1952, City Park Pool was built and today, swimming is banned in Sheldon Lake.
Activities and Events at Fort Collins City Park
Fort Collins City Park is home to several of the city’s major activities and celebrations, including the annual fireworks display on the Fourth of July and the Foco Food Truck Rally every Tuesday in the summer. The park also features tennis courts, boating and fishing at Sheldon Lake, sports fields, walking trails, picnic areas, and ice fishing, ice skating, and pond hockey in the winter.
You can check the Fort Collins City government website to see if the park has upcoming events planned, or check the calendar for City Park Pool to see more about visiting the pool and aquatic activities. Visiting City Park is free, but the pool has an admission fee of $7.00 per person ($6.00 for children under 18 and seniors 60 years and up).
How to Get There
Fort Collins City Park isn’t hard to find, just a few minutes east of downtown Fort Collins. Parking spots surround the park so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to park. Keep in mind that the streets surrounding the park are mostly residential, so be sure not to park on someone’s private property!
Fort Collins City Park has so much to offer tourists and residents alike. As one of Fort Collins’s signature parks, it’s a gathering place for people of all ages.