I personally use Shields because there is ample parking space near the bridge and you can jump off the bridge for a fun start to the trip. After you pass the second rope swing, you can float for another couple of minutes but when you see the grates up ahead make sure you get out on the left hand side of the river.After this, the next place you have to get out is at the Dam.It's a shorter ride with barely any rapids, but for some, that's the appeal.(both on College Ave.) you can pick yourself up an entire summer's worth of fun, a nice big round black tractor tire inner tube.Surprisingly, a lot of tire places in town don't carry the right inner tubes for the job so make sure you check these two businesses first or be prepared to waste a day just trying to find your raft.For this part of the river, which is much more extreme than the in town ride, your going to need to have your wits about you.There are boulders sticking out of the river everywhere that you could potentially hit your head on and the rapids are up to a class IV out of a class V depending upon the time of year.Probably my favorite Fort Collins past time has to be tubing on the Poudre River.It has inspired me to stay here over the summer in the past and it is something I regret missing whenever I can't.
For the person who prefers the leisurly float, there is the part of the Poudre which extends through the middle of town.This part of the river is much calmer and suggested for the first time tuber.Note: Your going to have to get off your raft and walk around approximately twice(depending on where you start) for this trip but its worth it.Fort Collins is great at providing cheap activities to keep everyone outside and off the couch.
So check it out, get off your butt and enjoy the Fort.I have gone over the Dam myself and know that it is possible and actually quite fun, but you must be warned, I have heard many reports of rebarb sticking out of the concrete which could be very dangerous and hurt you severely.