Apr 062011
 
Authors: Kari Pills

The CSU Outdoor club is always looking for its next adventure, so Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, Zoe Whyman, weighed in with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Programs top areas in Fort Collins that an outdoor-loving person should check out.

Tips for visiting these areas:
1) Do your homework before you go to the natural area.
2) Be prepared.
3) Be a responsible visitor.

_Staff writer Kari Pills can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

Cathy Fromme Prairie natural area

  • At this site there is a paved trail that you can take up to a five-mile hike on.
  • It is named after a past city council member who was a conservationist.
  • This area is known for great wildflower viewing.

Coyote ridge natural area

  • Here you can take a short stroll or up to a 20-mile hike on the miles of trails available.
  • This area is located just past the landfill on Taft Hill Road.
  • No dogs are allowed in this area.

Poudre river natural areas south

  • This area is a wildlife corridor where you can observe deer and many species of birds.
  • This is a great spot for hiking and biking.
  • There is a paved trail as well as a soft trail.

Bobcat ridge natural area

  • This area is located 25 to 30 minutes away from the CSU campus.
  • Here you can horseback ride, hike and mountain bike.
  • On some of the trails there are jumps and ramps for bikers.

North shields pond/sterling

  • This location is a great fishing spot.
  • It has a picnic pavilion and is very quiet.
  • Hikers can take a half-mile loop or a mile loop.

Poudre river natural areas north

  • This area is full of lush, beautiful vegetation.
  • In the summer time it’s a great place for fun because it has a beach and the river is quiet.

Foothills trail

  • The trail lasts for a total of 6.8 miles.
  • There are great views of the plains from many points on the trail.
  • There are challenging mountain bike trails.

Soapstone prairie natural area

  • This area is located 25 miles out of Fort Collins.
  • Here there are 40 miles of short and long trails to explore.
  • Forty years ago, it was an archeological dig site and human evidence has been found from 12,000 years ago.
  • This area is short grass prairie and is closed in December, January and February.

Riverbend ponds natural area

  • You can see this location on Prospect on your way into Fort Collins.
  • There is total of three miles of soft surface trail.
  • Here you can observe wetland wildlife, and, if you’re lucky, you can see the beaver activity that has been spotted in this area.

Gateway natural area

  • This location is five miles up Poudre Canyon.
  • There are three main trails at this site.
  • This area is cool and comfortable in the summer because of the big trees lining the path. It’s also a great place to go wading in the river.
  • There is a $5 per vehicle admission fee.
 Posted by at 5:59 pm

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