Let the Adventure Begin: Poudre River Whitewater Park is Now Open

The idea of a local whitewater park had been a Fort Collins dream for years. Mixing the rushing rapids of mountain life with the adventurous spirit embodied by Coloradans young and old eventually propelled this vision into a reality. After much planning, designing and sheer hard work, the Poudre River Whitewater Park was officially born in October 2019. This is the very first whitewater park to open in northern Colorado, and ECI is proud to include it on our list of completed projects.

A One-of-a-Kind Venue

Construction for the park began in August 2018. It drew ample attention throughout the entire construction process – and for good reason. It includes numerous unique aspects that set it apart from other outdoor venues in the region. Along with boating features for kayaking and tubing, the park has an enormous pedestrian bridge, children’s play area, new paved trails and walkways, and it is adorned with 3,000 willow whips lining the river’s edge.

River Floodplain Improvements

The project purpose wasn’t just for recreation – our team significantly improved the river floodplain. The Poudre River 100-Year floodway was narrowed from 770 to 325 feet wide, and the conveyance of floodwater under the College Avenue Bridge increased from 12,271 to 13,900 cubic feet per second. Additionally, ECI designed, engineered and installed a coffer dam that met all state water requirements to fully divert the Poudre River, without allowing it to flood during construction activities.

Sustainability as a Chief Focus

As with all our projects, sustainability took a front seat during the entire project to preserve the natural habitat. More than 10,000 cubic yards of rock materials are included in the river, and 100 percent of river rock extracted from the Poudre River was repurposed within the park. Similarly, our design team strategically crafted three wooden benches that were repurposed from trees removed from the project site and were placed throughout the park. Our team delicately worked around the historical Coy diversion structure with links to the Poudre river’s storied agricultural past. Finally, as to not negatively impact river inhabitants, we worked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and a fish biologist to incorporate a fish passage in the Poudre River for safe transport of fish.

A Team Effort

It is because of numerous dedicated entities that the Poudre River Whitewater Park came into fruition. A very special thanks to the following crews: The City of Fort Collins, Anderson Consulting Engineers, BHA Design Inc., S2o Design, and a strategic subcontractor team.

Visit the park, located at 201 E. Vine Drive in Fort Collins, year-round from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.!