When in Fort Collins

Hello! I’m Hannah Halusker ’17, M ’20, a two-time Clemson alumna who now works in science communications at Colorado State University.

Last year, I traded the Appalachians for the Rockies and moved west to Fort Collins, Colorado. Boasting 300 days of sunshine per year and situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is the “Choice City” that many outdoor enthusiasts, like me, call home. Welcome to FoCo!


1Poudre Canyon

Starting high up in Rocky Mountain National Park and emerging just north of Fort Collins, the Cache la Poudre River drops 7,000 feet in elevation as it winds through Poudre Canyon. My first Colorado hikes took place on the canyon trails shared with campers, fly fishermen, rafters and kayakers alike.

2Bike Paths
When I moved to Fort Collins, a co-worker told me that there are two requirements for living here: owning a bike and owning a dog. I’m still working on the latter, though the bike paths in town are enough to stay occupied. Fort Collins is one of five platinum-rated bike-friendly communities in the U.S., with over 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes and 50 miles of marked or signed bike routes to explore.
3Horsetooth Reservoir
Named after the mountain that forms its western edge, the reservoir is surrounded by 1,900 acres of public lands — a go-to for boating, swimming, biking and rock climbing.
FUN FACT: Much of the water provided to eastern Colorado is diverted from the Western Slope under the Continental Divide and through a system of dams and canals. Water rights and conservation are hot topics as water becomes a more precious resource.

4Old Town
Put on the map when the railroad came to town in 1877, present-day Old Town was the business district of historic Fort Collins. Today, it’s the place to go for a night out, with more than 80 restaurants to choose from.
PRO TIP: Get an ice cream cone from Churn, a shop designed after an antique ice cream churn bucket, and stop into Sense of Place for a gift to take home.

The Napa Valley of Beer, the Brewmuda Triangle, the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado — there’s something about that Rocky Mountain water that attracts breweries to Fort Collins. The city ranks fourth in the nation for number of microbreweries per capita, with some of the big names including New Belgium Brewing, Anheuser-Busch and Odell Brewing Company.
Interested in sharing the best eats and secret spots of your own city with fellow Tigers? Email for more information.

Colorado: Sandy Jones Powers '86 and Cara Sizemore '16

During her pre-graduation trip to Vail, Colorado, Cara Sizemore ’16 and her aunt, Sandy Jones Powers ’86, took a day off from skiing to visit Big Hat Alpaca Ranch in McCoy, Colorado. The ranch owner, Cass Galloway, invited them to help get the award-winning alpacas ready for nightfall by putting warm coats on them. One alpaca especially liked being draped in a Tiger Rag.

Colorado: Brian Callahan and Matthew Burns

Two alumni and employees of the Clemson Extension Service display the Clemson flag on the slopes of West Elk Range, high in the Rockies of Gunnison County, Colorado in September 2015. Dr. Brian Callahan, associate director of the Clemson Extension Service is shown, bowhunting elk alongside Dr. Matthew Burns, extension associate, Clemson Extension Service.