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LOVELAND, CO – Larimer County Department of Natural Resources (LCDNR), in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), will benefit from funding from the Colorado Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) totaling $8.6 million, with a $3 million-dollar matching commitment by Larimer County, for critical improvements at Horsetooth and Carter Lake reservoirs. 

Horsetooth and Carter Lake reservoirs represent the two largest and most visited reservoirs in Larimer County, and in the top 10 statewide, attracting over 1.5 million visitors each year. 

The project includes a total of ten significant road and safety improvements to the aging infrastructure at Horsetooth and Carter Lake reservoirs. The components offer greater roadway accessibility and pedestrian/bike safety. One important safety measure includes a new turn lane off County Road 38E into the South Bay entrance at Horsetooth Reservoir. 

Additionally, the project includes repaving and restriping several large parking areas at both reservoirs for improved configurations for additional vehicle capacity and greater efficiencies for Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) boat inspections. Numerous existing gravel roads accessing camping areas will be paved to reduce erosion and costly maintenance. These planned improvements will extend the useful life of these parking areas and roadways by 25 years or more to ensure that they will be able to keep up with visitor demand now and into the future. 

“This year, we had unprecedented visitation and levels of recreational use at both Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake. This funding will make a measurable positive impact on the aging infrastructure challenges we are facing. We are thrilled to partner with Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD) to improve our visitors’ experience by increasing safety and easing traffic flow,” said Daylan Figgs, Director, LCDNR.

CFLHD will act as the lead agency for the entire duration of the project from selection through project completion. Preliminary engineering is expected to begin late next year through 2023. Construction would follow, most likely in 2025. 

Since 1954, under an operating agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation, Larimer County Natural Resources has operated, managed, and maintained all recreation facilities at Horsetooth, Carter, Pinewood, and Flatiron reservoirs. For more details, please visit

About Larimer County Department of Natural Resources
Natural Resources manages Larimer County’s great outdoor places, including magnificent open spaces and water-based recreation areas, and fosters responsible land stewardship through weed management and healthy forest practices. To learn more, visit

Horsetooth Reservoir Larimer County
Published on: 
Friday, September 18, 2020 - 2:27pm
Contact Details:

Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP): 
Doug Hecox, (202) 366-2244,

Natural Resources:
Jennifer Almstead, Fund Development & Project Specialist
(970) 619-4569,

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