Urban hiking: Discovering alleys in Old Town Fort Collins

Text and photos by Libby James

Alleys are a thing of the past in newer residential areas. But plenty of them remain in Fort Collins, in Old Town and in the residential areas close by in the older part of town.

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Downtown alleys have been subject to makeovers, everything from large, dramatic paintings on adjacent walls to attractive outdoor settings for restaurants.

Alleys serve as a thoroughfare through the middle of a block. They are seldom paved. They are the “rear ends” of residences and businesses, and sometimes they become dumping places for items owners don’t want to throw away but are not sure what to do with. In many cases, they look very different from the “front side” of houses and business buildings.

Can you find these images in alleys in or near downtown Fort Collins? Comment with your guesses.


  1. The mural of the man playing the piano looks like the alley behind Tony’s and the Aggie. I used to ‘cruise’ that area back in the 90’s when they shut down certain areas of downtown with cones to try to discourage us from ‘cruising’.

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