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Named for Colorado Central Railroad president W. A. H. Loveland in the 1870s, this town now calls itself the "Sweetheart City," because every February, hundreds of thousands of Valentine's Day cards are re-mailed from here with a Loveland postmark.
With what seems like countless opportunities for outdoor recreation of all types, Loveland is a great destination for fans of city parks, open spaces, and lakes. Visitors traveling with children should make sure to include Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park on their itinerary. Home to an Exploration Zone composed of logs, boulders, and other items sourced from the park itself, this is the perfect place for energetic kids to run and play.
For those looking for good hiking and mountain biking near the town, consider stopping at Ramsay-Shockey Open Space, which has among other things a four-mile trail with picturesque views.
Another unique spot for hiking and mountain biking is Devil’s Backbone Open Space. Named for a dramatic rock formation that resembles a large spine, this attraction also features around four miles of trails open to hikers and mountain bikers.
For those travelers with an interest in water activities, consider venturing to Pinewood Reservoir or Carter Lake Reservoir. Pinewood Reservoir does not allow motorized boats, but it’s a popular spot for canoes and kayaks. Carter Lake Reservoir is the site of a much larger lake that permits motorized boats, and they’re even available for rent at the marina.
Both bodies of water are near campgrounds, but visitors should be sure to make online reservations ahead of time. Other popular activities at these sites include fishing, hiking, and biking.