When I was a little kid living in Fort Collins my parents used to tell me (or maybe they just told me once, or maybe I just suggested it to them) that the “A” on the side of the foothills in Fort Collins was painted there for me. I don’t think I really ever though it was true, but I did always think it was cool that the first letter of my name was visible throughout Fort Collins. The “A” is actually there because it stands for Aggies, the former mascot for Colorado State University.
There is a hike that goes up to the “A” that, after living here three separate times, I thought it was time I officially do. It starts out at the Maxwell Natural Area on the Foothills Trail. This is one of my favorite trail running spots and places to practice running hills (ugh), but I’ve never slowed it down and just hiked the trail. It was busy today, lots of runners and mountain bikers out. It was a really enjoyable hike, with some noticeable incline and then a split in the trail that leads up and over to the “A.” The trail, especially the last portion of it, provides beautiful views of Horsetooth reservoir, Dixon reservoir, and the city of Fort Collins (although it’s lookin’ a little smoggy). Once you hike to the actual letter, you can’t really tell that it’s a letter, it mostly looks like painted rocks, but it was still cool to hike up to it and look down at it! In all, the hike ended at a little over four miles.