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River District

It's a place unlike any other. Here, the Poudre River, industry, art, and history come together to create a new community in Fort Collins. Art galleries, music venues, and theaters complement recreation on the river and preserved natural areas. Long-time industrial businesses work in partnership with new entrepreneurs. Modern housing, restaurants, shops, and office buildings reflect the District's historic past and celebrate its future. The River District is not your run-of-the-mill downtown neighborhood.

It's the Downtown Gateway to Recreation! 


Here, the river, industry, art, and history unite to create a new community in Fort Collins. The River District has ties to the early history of Fort Collins. On August 20, 1864, Col. Collins designated the area around Willow St. as the new military reservation after a flood wiped out the previous camp.

Check out more of the history of Fort Collins or the history of the Poudre River from the Archive at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery or on the panels as you stroll through the River District.

Search Fort Collins History Connection


The River District is home to captivating works of art that enrich every nook and cranny, all that is deeply rooted in the district's unique history. Be sure to observe the Linden Street pedestrian pavers and Willow Street pedestrian pavers embedded in the sidewalk while you explore the district. The pavers, designed by artist Susan Dailey under the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program, consist of 11 etched granite pavers that pay tribute to the district's role in Fort Collins's rich history.

At the intersection of Willow and Linden streets, you'll find the sculpture, "In Praise of the Poudre" by artist Andy Dufford. These four undulating granite columns showcase relief carvings of the plants, animals, insects, and landforms that make up the Cache la Poudre River, celebrating the different elements of a healthy river ecosystem.

Take a stroll by the sculptures at dusk to see them light up! In addition, the district is filled with vibrant murals and painted transformer boxes that add even more color to the district's fascinating surroundings. The featured transformer box, "Similar Surroundings," located at 409 Linden Street, was painted by artist Sharon Smith in 2018. 

Art in Public Places Program

The Poudre River

The heart and soul of the River District, the Poudre River, is a community treasure. As Colorado's only designated 'Wild and Scenic River", it provides many opportunities for recreation in and around the water. Located just north of Old Town, kayakers, tubers and kids of all ages can enjoy the Poudre River and all it has to offer.

The Poudre River Whitewater Park is a great spot for kayaking, but it is important to prioritize safety and ensure that you have accurate information on the current conditions and proper equipment. The Poudre Trail is perfect for biking, and there are countless possibilities for fun and adventure!

Recreate Around the Water