Water Wagon  LbNA # 13581

Placed DateFeb 26 2005
LocationFort Collins, CO
Found By Ramdelt
Last Found May 23 2015
Hike Distance?

Water Wagon

***This box was replaced 5/23/2015***
***This letterbox was pulled from its original location due to inaccessibility. Please note that this box was planted at a new location not far from the old one on 6/11/06.***

This letterbox is the sixth in a series commemorating the history of Northern Colorado, and will take you to various outdoor historical sites.

In the early days of Fort Collins it was important to live near the Poudre River as that was the source of your drinking water, water for cooking, cleaning, etc. As the town grew, other options had become necessary so that the outlying homes could still survive. This is where the founders of the town came up with the idea of a Water Wagon. This horse drawn wagon would fill up a barrel full of water to deliver to each home upon request. One barrel of water would cost 25 cents.

This continued on until June 7th, 1883 when the town paid $105,000 for their new water plant. This plant located on Overland Trail had enough pressure to pump water 115 feet into the air in downtown Fort Collins. This water plant still stands today and is the site where the “Water Wagon” was retired.

When you get out of your car at this location, please be aware that there is an old house adjacent to the old water plant that is still lived in. When I was there to place the box and look around, the owner wondered what I was doing so be extremely careful as not to tip him off. He did mention that tours are sometimes offered between June and September. Currently there is work going on inside of the facility to date it’s contents. You may want to bring a camera for historical shots of the site and for an excuse as to why you are there if someone sees you. There will be a first finder “certificate” for the first finder of this letterbox. ENJOY!


1. From the intersection of Overland Trail and Prospect head north towards the river. The river today…at least this part of it is completely dry so that could make it harder to identify. Look for a large brick building on the left that looks like it should be a present day micro-brewery. You will know that you are in the right location if you look above the main doorway and see the names of the Town of Fort Collins trustees as well as “Fort Collins Waterworks”. You may not be able to get into this area due to the homeowners that live next door. Behind this building is where the original location was.

2. Continue on down the road passed the turn for the Abner Loomis box and stop about 0.4 miles from the waterworks facility were you find a trail system parking lot.

3. Walk to the sign that designates one direction for the Pleasant Valley Trail and the other for the Poudre River Trail. Take the Poudre River Trail. Not too far down the trail you will want to be aware of the corner.....it's blind. Continue under the road that you drove in on. Can you see or hear the bats that are nesting in the crevice under the bridge? A little further down the path you will start across one of the largest foot bridges that I have ever seen. As you cross, look for heron, hawks and other animals which I have seen here. After finally crossing the bridge, follow the wooden fence to your right until it meets another fence. At the base of the final post under some rocks is the location of the previous water wagon letterbox.

4. From this point look to your left at the large tree that you just past while walking along the fence. Head toward the tree and look at it's base at a pile of rocks and large downed branch that are helping to hide the new water wagon letterbox. Please note that I noticed some fencing wire that could have been barbed near the placement of the letterbox. Due to a downpour, I was unable to spend more time planting and therefore want to make sure you are warned that their could be barbed wire near the box. (Maybe this will keep people from walking off with this one???)

Please attempt to hide the box better than you found it as this location is in town and could be found by people that may not appreciate letterboxing the way that you an I do. Also, since this is a public place(lots of bikers), please be discreet. Leave a message in the journal if you wish. If you want, please let me know when you find the box and it‘s condition.

After you are done, check out the other letterboxes in Northern Colorado.

Planted by Ramdelt.
A handmade stamp and journal.