VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 28 POSTED ON: 5/18/2012
Mentor Activity Binder reimbursement The Matthews House is able to reimburse each mentor up to $25.00 per month for expenses spent on your youth only. At this point in time we are unable to reimburse for any expenses accrued for the mentor. Please fill out the following form and return it to Vanessa Aschmann. Matthews House Activities Girls Group Meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month, usually from 4pm-6pm. These activities are FREE for Matthews House youth. Possible cost for mentors might be necessary, see the Experiential Education Director for more details. Guys Group Meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, usually from 4pm-6pm. These activities are FREE for Matthews House youth. Possible cost for mentors might be necessary, see the Experiential Education Director for more details. Climbing Team Meets on the 3rd Friday of each month, usually from 3:30 pm - 6pm. Join us at Inner Strength Climbing Gym as we learn climbing techniques, knot tying, and belaying skills. This activity is FREE for Matthews House youth. Possible cost for mentors might be necessary, see the Experiential Education Director for more details. Family Dinner Join us on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 5:30 – 7pm and enjoy a home cooked meal for FREE. Youths’ family, friends, and mentors are encouraged to join us! Outdoor Activities Parks in Fort Collins Edora Park - 1420 E. Stuart FREE Activities – See “Equipment Check-out” for more detail. Disc Golf See Skate Park Horseshoes Tennis Softball/Baseball (check City website for availability) BMX Track Playground (good for your youth with children) City Park – 1500 W. Mulberry St. FREE Activities - See “Equipment Check-out” for more detail. Tennis Playground (good for your youth with children) Basketball Fitness Course Paying Activities – check out http://www.fcgov.com/recreation/cityparkpoolandtrain.php for rates and hours of operation. City Park Pool City Park Railway Miniature Train (good for your youth with children) City Park Lake Paddle Boats Club Tico (check out the Recreator for current classes, activities, and events). Lee Martinez Park – 600 N. Sherwood St. FREE Activities - See “Equipment Check-out” for more detail. Tennis Basketball Access to Poudre Tral Playground (good for your youth with children) Softball/Baseball (check City website for availability) Paying Activities – check out http://www.fcgov.com/recreation/thefarm.php for rates and hours of operation. You can use your “Youth Mentoring Initiative Community Card” to enter at no cost for yourself (will have to pay for youth). The Farm at Lee Martinez Rolland Moore Park – 2201 S. Shields FREE Activities - See “Equipment Check-out” for more detail. Volleyball Tennis Horseshoes Basketball Racquetball Soccer Fields Access to Spring Creek Trail Ball fields (check out city website for availability) Playground (good for your youth with children) Spring Canyon Park – 2626 W. Horsetooth Rd. FREE Activities - See “Equipment Check-out” for more detail. Ball fields ( check out city website for availability) Basketball Tennis Splash Park and Playground (good for your youth with children) Access to Spring Creek Bike Trail Access to Pine Ridge Natural Area Dog Park Fossil Creek Park - 5821 S. Lemay Ave. FREE Activities - See “Equipment Check-out” for more detail. Lighted Ball Fields (check out city website for availability) Lighted Tennis Courts Lighted Basketball Court Playground (good for your youth with children) Roller Hockey Rink (check out city website for availability) Skate Park Dog Park Archery Range - The range is located on the southwest side of the intersection of Interstate-25 and East Prospect Road at the south end of the frontage road, past the weigh station. Cost: $3.00/day/person or $30.00 yearly membership/person The Gardens on Spring Creek – 2145 Centre Ave. Adult and Youth Classes – check out http://www.fcgov.com/horticulture/adultprograms.php for more detail. Fort Collins Natural Areas ***NOTE – please follow ALL Natural Areas rules and regulations. If you will be fishing, be sure to pick up a fishing license for you and your youth at JAX, Sports Authority, or Walmart (about $35/person).*** A great way to explore our natural areas is to Geo Cache La Poudre!! Go geo caching with GPS units on your bikes. See “Equipment Check-out” for more details. For current activities at the natural areas, visit http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/recreation.php Arapaho Bend Arapaho Bend is a scenic entryway into Fort Collins with many natural features to enjoy! It is a popular fishing spot and is often visited by equestrians. You may see or hear some of the over 80 species of birds that use the habitat here including American white pelicans, prairie falcons, and cormorants. Visitors also may see mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, beavers, coyotes, foxes and deer. Anglers may catch bass, bluegill, yellow perch, or sunfish in the ponds reclaimed from previous gravel mining. While this site brings with it the hum of traffic on adjacent I-25, it provides opportunities for relaxing recreation with impressive views of the mountains. About 2 miles of natural surface trail follow the edge of the ponds in a loop. There are three parking lots, one at the east end of Horsetooth Road, one on Strauss Cabin Road between Horsetooth and Harmony, and at the Harmony Transportation Center. Horse trailer parking is available (no designated spot) at the Harmony Transportation Center, the other parking lots are too small. Fishing Hiking Biking Equestrian Dogs on Leash Non-motorized boating Bobcat Ridge Discover Bobcat Ridge Natural Area! You’ll find a grassy valley, foothills, ponderosa pines, stunning red rock cliffs and more. Bobcat Ridge is home to elk, wild turkey, mountain lions and other wildlife. Several historic homestead sites dot the landscape. Trails include the Valley Loop (4 mile loop), Ginny Trail (5.4 miles, climbs 1,500 feet, open for hiking and mountain biking, closed to horses), D.R. Trail (3.4 miles long, climbs 1,100 feet, open to equestrians and hikers, closed to cyclists), Powerline Road (1.5 miles long, climbs steeply with loose rocks so not recommended for horses, uphill only for cyclists), Eden Valley Spur (an out and back route, 1.3 miles along the valley bottom). From Fort Collins, take Harmony Road west, it turns into CR 38 E. Follow CR 38 E to Masonville. Go left (south) at the Masonville Mercantile onto CR 27. Follow CR 27 about 1 mile to CR 32 C, head west about 1 mile to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot. From Loveland, go west on Highway 34 about 4.5 miles west of Wilson Avenue. Turn north on CR 27 by Big Thompson Elementary and drive 4.5 miles. Turn left on CR 32C and go 1 mile west to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot. Hiking Biking Equestrian Butterfly Woods In the past, Butterfly Woods was a small-fruit agricultural area, and it is gradually being restored to a natural riparian (riverside) forest and upland. The most popular way to visit is by bicycling or walking on the paved Poudre River Trail. Butterfly Woods is east of the unique pedestrian bridge over the Poudre River near Overland Trail Road. Visitors may see squirrels, foxes, raccoons, mule deer, mourning doves and woodpeckers. This natural area is home to the two-spotted skipper and the smokey-eyed brown butterfly – both rare species whose habitat is protected by the on-trail only policy. 0.4 miles of the paved Poudre River Trail (wheelchair accessible) Butterfly Woods is along the Poudre River Trail about ¼ mile east of Lions Park. The nearest parking lot is at Lions Park on North Overland Trail Rd. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Cathy Fromme Prairie Cathy Fromme Prairie is a rare example of Fort Collins’ pre-settlement shortgrass prairie landscape. Prairie dog colonies here support bald eagles and hawks. Horned lizards, ground-nesting songbirds, butterflies, rabbits, coyotes and rattlesnakes also can be seen. The raptor observatory, built into the hillside near the Shields Street entrance, is an excellent place from which to watch hawks and eagles, especially in winter. The paved Fossil Creek Trail (between Shields and Wessex Rd/CR 38C) is 2.5 miles one-way . There are parking lots at Shields Street (south of Harmony) or Fromme Prairie Way (from Harmony take Seneca south to Fromme Prairie Way). One horse trailer parking spot is designated in the Fromme Prairie Way parking lot. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Cattail Chorus This natural area, nestled at the junction of the Poudre and Spring Creek trails, is often enjoyed by employees of nearby businesses during the lunch hour. It’s a great place to watch wildlife and enjoy a peaceful moment. Cattail Chorus is teeming with nature: the habitat supports a high diversity of migrant and resident songbirds and waterfowl; the cottonwoods on the west side of the site are a winter roosting site for great blue herons; and yellow-headed blackbirds nest in the cattails. Butterflies, dragonflies, and other tiny creatures flit among the vegetation of the ponds. Watch for a variety of colorful caterpillars crawling on the trail in the spring. This site was acquired with the help of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. A short natural surface trail on the north side of Cattail Chorus leads to a bench where visitors can watch and listen to a variety of wildlife. Cattail Chorus is an on-trail-only site; 0.5 miles of the paved Poudre River and Spring Creek trails (wheelchair accessible) follow the edges of this natural area. Located at the junction of the Poudre River Trail and Spring Creek Trail, north of Prospect, east of Timberline. Nearest parking is at Prospect Ponds Natural Area. Hiking Dog on Leash Colina Mariposa A unique feature of Colina Mariposa Natural Area is the high butterfly diversity on the eastern ridge, which led to the site name, Colina Mariposa - Spanish for “butterfly hill.” Bald eagles, turkey vultures, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, and ferruginous hawks also use the habitat here. Approximately 1 mile of soft surface trail is accessible only from the adjacent neighborhood. In the future, the Fort Collins/Loveland bike trail is planned to traverse Colina Mariposa parallel to Shields Street. Hiking Dog on Leash Cottonwood Hollow This ecologically diverse site sits amid a complex of natural areas. Nearby you’ll find Prospect Ponds Natural Area, CSU’s Environmental Learning Center, Running Deer Natural Area and Riverbend Ponds Natural Area. Cottonwood Hollow is a great place to get away from the urban environment, not far from home. Visitors to Cottonwood Hollow find it ideal for wildlife watching – and listening. Red-winged blackbirds, egrets, herons, sandpipers, pelicans, killdeer, warblers, kingbirds, and song sparrows are some of the over 60 avian species that inhabit this area; some of them nest here. Painted turtles, foxes, muskrats and deer also might be seen. 0.4 miles natural surface (from Running Deer Natural Area (Prospect St. parking lot), one way) Park at the Running Deer Natural Area parking lot on Prospect (west of Summitview Drive); also can be reached via connecting trail from Riverbend Ponds Natural Area through the underpass at Prospect or from the Running Deer Natural Area (Colorado Welcome Center) trailhead. Hiking Coyote Ridge Experience the foothills meeting the plains at this beautiful site. Trail connections to Rimrock Open Space and the Blue Sky Trail make Coyote Ridge Natural Area quite popular with recreationists who shuttle vehicles to have an excellent mountain biking, horseback riding or long distance hiking experience. Visitors often see mule deer and coyotes, and sometimes mountain lions, bears and rattlesnakes. Rabbitbrush, mountain mahogany, and three-leaf sumac provide habitat for songbirds, lizards, rabbits, deer mice, and foxes. The approximately 600-foot rise in elevation makes for nice views of the Front Range and eastern plains as well as the Cheyenne Ridge to the north. At the top, views to the west are gorgeous. 2.3 miles natural surface; elevation gain of about 600 feet, connects to Larimer County Rimrock Open Space and the Blue Sky Trail. A ¼-mile interpretive loop trail is located about 1 mile into the site. The interpretive loop is wheelchair accessible, but the trail from the parking lot is not (except for hardy individuals with equipment designed for such trails). Therefore, the City will make arrangements for groups of persons with limited mobility to have vehicle access to the accessible trail loop. Call 416-2815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Parking lot on west side of Taft Hill Road approximately 3 miles south of Harmony Road (about 1 mile south of the Larimer County Landfill). There are 5 designated horse trailer parking spots available. Hiking Mountain Biking Equestrian Fischer Enjoy the ambiance of a green urban stream corridor at Fischer Natural Area! Fischer is along the Spring Creek Trail and next to Rolland Moore Park. Flickers, songbirds, raccoons and foxes are common residents- watch for them! This site was purchased by the City from Gene and MaryLynn Fischer in 1977 and named after them. 0.3 miles of the paved trail pass through the site (wheelchair accessible), linking Spring Creek Trail to Stuart Street. Park at Rolland Moore Park (entrance on Shields Street) and access Spring Creek Trail, turn north onto the spur that links to Stuart Street through Fischer Natural Area. Hiking Biking Equestrian Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open space Experience the beauty and enjoy outstanding birding at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space! You’ll find rolling prairie uplands, wetlands, and a tree-lined reservoir. Bring your sketch book, camera, spotting scope, and binoculars. Take advantage of the quiet, peaceful essence of this special place to recharge and renew yourself. Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space is designated an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. It provides crucial habitat to bald eagles (in the winter) and other types of raptors, and many species of shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl. You may also see coyotes, deer, and prairie dogs. Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space was created through a partnership between the City of Fort Collins, Larimer County and North Poudre Irrigation Company to conserve 843 acres. The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program is responsible for the management of the site including restoration and stewardship, trail and site maintenance, snow removal, volunteer opportunities and education programs. Larimer County Rangers provide enforcement. Visit them at their office at the trailhead parking lot. The highest priority in managing this open space is conservation of natural resources while providing public recreation. The trails are designed to minimize human impact to sensitive wildlife. Biking, water recreation (boating and fishing), and pets all have a significant impact on wildlife; therefore those types of recreation are not permitted. Note: Dogs, bikes and horses are not allowed at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space. Access is from the neighborhood on the west side of the site, the trail is approximately 0.1 mile. There is no trailhead parking. Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space is on Carpenter Road/ CR 32, approximately one mile west of I-25, or two miles east of Timberline on the north side of Carpenter Road. Walking Fossil Creek Wetlands A beautiful wetland on Fossil Creek, rich with wildlife. The best place to enjoy Fossil Creek Wetlands is from the observational road pull-out on the south side of Trilby Road approximately ½ mile west of Timberline Road. From here you may see some of the over 140 species of birds sighted here including bald eagles and ferruginous hawks. Like its neighbor to the east (Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area), Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area was designated part of the Fossil Creek “Important Bird Area” by National Audubon Society. Access is from the neighborhood on the west side of the site, the trail is approximately 0.1 mile. There is no trailhead parking. Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area extends from Trilby Road to Carpenter Road, bordering Timberline Road on the east. There is an informal pull-out on the north side of the site (along Trilby Road east of the railroad tracks) where drivers can stop and watch wildlife. Hiking Biking Dog on Leash Gateway Gateway Natural Area is the kind of place you will want to bring your family for a day in the mountains and definitely a place you will be proud to say is part of Fort Collins. Gateway Natural Area (formerly Gateway Mountain Park) is the site of the city's old water filtration plant, where the North Fork of the Poudre River joins the main Poudre River. Visitors enjoy it because its tucked away from the noise of Highway 14 and Gateway is only 15 miles from Fort Collins! You'll find hiking trails, a designated launch area for kayaks and canoes, fishing, picnic tables with grills, and newly designed informational kiosks. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first serve basis or can be reserved. The daily parking fee at Gateway Natural Area is $5 (check or cash only). Parking is free in December, January, and February. An annual pass is available and can be purchased at Nix Natural Area, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road (8-5 M-F, check or credit card only) or at the Natural Resources Department at 215 N. Mason (8-5 M-F, check or credit card only) or at the Gateway Natural Area Office (check or cash only). The Black Powder Trail is 3/4 mile, and climbs steeply to great views. The Overlook Trail is 1/4 mile and it climbs to the top of another good viewpoint. From Gateway, visitors may also hike to Seaman Reservoir, 1 mile to base of dam, the trail begins at Gateway Natural Area and then enters Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado Division of Wildlife and City of Greeley property. Gateway Natural Area is located at 5216 Poudre Canyon Highway (Hwy 14). Take Highway 287 to Highway 14 West, then travel 5.2 miles on Hwy 14 West. Gateway Natural Area is on the right side of the road. Hiking Biking Fishing Non-Motorized Boating Tubing Gustav Swanson A natural area just blocks from Old Town Fort Collins, along the Poudre River. Interpretive signs and benches help you enjoy this special spot. When you visit, look for birds- over 45 species of birds have been seen here including green-winged teal, great blue herons, owls, kestrels, and Bullock’s orioles. Bats, foxes, and deer are also seen here from time to time. Natural areas, even in the city, are often difficult to patrol for law enforcement purposes. Visiting natural areas with a friend or in a group provides the best protection for personal safety. 0.4 miles paved (wheelchair accessible) Parking lot is on Linden Street, between Riverside and Buckingham. Hiking Biking Dogs on Leash Fishing Kingfisher Point Recreationists on the Poudre River Trail, anglers and people looking for a nature break in the city enjoy Kingfisher Point Natural Area. You might see birds such as great horned owls (they occasionally nest here), kingfishers, wood ducks, pelicans and western tanagers. On a warm evening, you might hear chorus frogs. Some portions of Kingfisher Point do not look like you might expect a natural area to look. That is because sugar beet waste was dumped on the land for many years. The resulting lime, while not a hazardous material, is more hospitable to the invasive weed, kochia, than to native plants. Restoration is in progress- watch how this site changes over the years, gradually returning to its natural state. Ponds near the parking lot (west side of Timberline Road) are enjoyed by anglers and occasionally by boaters (non-motorized). 0.8 miles of the paved Poudre River Trail (wheelchair accessible), 0.2 miles soft surface from parking lot on Timberline. Parking lot on Timberline, between Prospect and Mulberry or from Poudre River Trail between Lemay and Timberline. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Magpie Meander Visit Magpie Meander and you’ll discover a wooded area with a small stream and pond. Its location adjacent to Soft Gold Park makes Magpie Meander ideal for a family picnic and easy nature exploration. There is an accessible fishing pier too. A new trail connects to McMurry Natural Area and the Poudre River Trail. When you visit Magpie Meander look for its namesake the magpie, as well as great blue herons, red- tailed hawks and downy woodpeckers. You might also see rabbits, squirrels, foxes, and mule deer, as well as painted turtles and plains garter snakes. What a lively place! 0.16 miles natural surface with connection to McMurry Natural Area. Hiking Dog on Leash Fishing Mallard’s Nest Not only is Mallards Nest Natural Area along an enjoyable section of Spring Creek Trail, but, as its name suggests, it’s a good place for duck-watching. The mallard’s typical “quack, quack, quack,” blends melodically with the restful sounds of the flowing creek. Remember to just watch, but not feed, the ducks so they don’t loose their fear of people and become aggressive. About .4 miles of the paved Spring Creek Trail go through Mallards Nest Natural Area. Mallards Nest is along the Spring Creek Trail, between Spring Park and the east Stuart Street underpass. Nearest parking is at Spring Park. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Maxwell A beautiful foothills natural area where visitors can enjoy scenic views of the mountains and of the city. Listen for the spotted towhee’s call, which sounds like “drink-your-teeeee,” and look for mule deer which are common but easily blend into the mountain mahogany shrubs. The rare Bell’s twinpod grows at Maxwell. Watch out for rattlesnakes here. The 1.5 mile trail at Maxwell Natural Area is part of the 6.8 mile Foothills Trail which crosses city, county, state and federal lands. The Foothills Trail connects Pineridge, Maxwell and Reservoir Ridge natural areas. Trail markers show you the way. Biking on the Foothills Trail is for the experienced cyclist- the trail is challenging. Maxwell Natural Area is just west of CSU’s Hughes Stadium. Parking lots are off County Rd 42 C and on Centennial/CR 23. Please do not park along CR 42C roadway. There is 1 designated horse trailer parking spot. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash McMurry Anglers love McMurry’s reclaimed gravel ponds. More than 20 species of fish are found in these two ponds - more fish types than at any other natural area in Fort Collins. You may find orange spotted sunfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappie or yellow perch. McMurry is great for wildlife too- birds at McMurry include cedar waxwings, Bullock’s orioles and even osprey, a raptor once near the brink of extinction and still relatively rare in Colorado. Snapping and painted turtles often sun themselves on warm summer days. Rabbits, muskrats, and red fox make their homes here as well. 1.5 miles natural surface with a trail connection to Magpie Meander Natural Area and Salyer Natural Area. There is a boat launch for non-motorized boats on the eastern pond. Parking lot at the west end of Hemlock Street or trail connections from Magpie Meander and Salyer natural areas. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Non-motorized Boating Nix Nix Natural Area is primarily enjoyed as visitors travel through on the Poudre River Trail. In spring and summer, you might see American white pelicans flying low over Nix in preparation for landing on ponds at adjacent Kingfisher Point Natural Area. Bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and kestrels are also seen here. You might notice that most of Nix Natural Area is undergoing restoration to its native short grass prairie condition. Watch as native vegetation gradually matures over the years. A short spur trail goes from the Poudre River Trail south to the Natural Areas Program’s headquarters and maintenance facility. Check out the native plant demonstration garden that surrounds the office. Native Plant Garden Brochure. 0.3 miles of the paved Poudre River Trail (wheelchair accessible) with a short spur leading to the Fort Collins Natural Areas Program offices, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road no trailhead parking here. Nix is on the Poudre River Trail between Lemay and Timberline. Access is from the Poudre River Trail. No trailhead parking at 1745 Hoffman Mill Road. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash North Shields Pond A great place to visit with a 1.5 mile trail system that when combined with Sterling Natural Area creates a “figure 8” configuration. North Shields Ponds has nice views of the mountains and a feeling of remoteness, even close to town. North Shields Pond is popular for anglers, equestrians and hikers. Fish species include black bullhead, channel catfish, bluegill, hybrid sunfishes, largemouth bass, and black crappie. Birdwatchers will want to look for any of the 30 species of birds that have been seen here including red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons, snow geese and American wigeons. Native plants include showy milkweed (upon which the monarch butterfly is dependent), cattails, and cottonwood trees. Combined, Sterling and North Shields Ponds offer 1.5 miles of natural surface trail, wheelchair accessible fishing deck, picnic tables and benches. The North Shields Pond Natural Area parking lot is on Shields St, north of Shields/Vine, west side of road. Sterling Natural Area is only accessed by the trail connection from North Shields Pond Natural Area. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Non-motorized Boating Picnicking Pineridge A popular foothills natural area where visitors can enjoy city views, foothills terrain, a reservoir and beautiful forest- all close to home. This popular hiking, fishing and biking area is one of the original City of Fort Collins natural areas (acquired in 1976). There is something for everyone at Pineridge! In 2006, the Access Fund awarded a grant for improvements to the Piano Boulders climbing area on the west side of the site (on Centennial Drive just north of the Spring Canyon Dam) and REI awarded a grant for recreational improvements and education endeavors at Pineridge- thank you! 7 miles of soft surface including a loop around Dixon Reservoir (1.8 miles). Pineridge is the southern end of the 6.8 mile Foothills Trail. The Foothills Trail connects Pineridge, Maxwell and Reservoir Ridge natural areas. Trail markers show you the way. Biking on the Foothills Trail is for the experienced cyclist- the trail is challenging. Parking lots on County Rd 42C approximately ¼ mile south of Hughes Stadium (2 horse trailer parking spots available) and at the west end of Horsetooth Road (through Spring Canyon Community Park). Pineridge also can be accessed from Maxwell Natural Area parking lot off County Rd 42C. Please do not park along CR 42C roadway. Hiking Mountain Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Picnicking Non-motorized Boating Prairie Dog Meadow Prairie Dog Meadow includes the headwaters of Stone Creek (a tributary of Fossil Creek). About 70 species of birds and 10 species of mammals have been documented at Prairie Dog Meadow Natural Area. Recreation is limited to wildlife watching from observation points at the north end of Kyle Avenue and along the sidewalk on Skyway. No trails are planned because interior trails would disrupt the natural activities of the prairie dogs as well as the predator/prey interactions. Wetland portions of the site have very unstable soils, and therefore are not ideal for trails. Prairie Dog Meadow is at the north end of Kyle Avenue and also borders East Skyway Drive. Walking Dog on Leash Prospect Pond There is more than ponds at Prospect Ponds Natural Area- a section of the Poudre River runs through the site and there are trails, picnic tables and fishing. Anglers catch species such as largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish stocked by Colorado Division of Wildlife. Prospect Ponds is also a nice place for a lunchtime walk or picnic. Over 100 species of birds have been seen at Prospect Ponds, including black-crowned night-herons, bald eagles, Swainson’s hawks, great horned owls, wood ducks, and hooded mergansers. Mammals include mule deer, foxes and bats. Prospect Ponds is co-managed by Fort Collins Utilities and the Natural Areas Program for flood control, water quality improvement and wildlife habitat. The paved Poudre River Trail follows the western border of Prospect Ponds and soft surface trails encircle the ponds making a “figure 8” trail configuration. Total trail distance is about 1.3 miles. There are two parking lots, both off Sharp Point Drive. Hiking Mountain Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Picnicking Non-motorized Boating Redtail Grove Red-tailed hawks love it, and you will too. This site connects the Mason Street Trail to Fossil Creek Trail with an underpass under U.S. Hwy 287/College Ave for safe travel. In addition to recreational enjoyment on the trail, this natural area provides visual relief for those traveling on U.S. Hwy. 287 south of Harmony Road. Eighty one species of birds have been seen here including its namesake, red-tailed hawks (which nested here from 1990 – 2001 and again in 2005), ferruginous hawks, northern saw-whet owls, and yellow- bellied sapsuckers. The Mason Street Trail/Fossil Creek Trail is the only access to the site. Nearest parking is at Mason Street park and ride (west end of Fairway Lane). Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Redwing Marsh This natural area provides relaxing recreation for all who visit. As its name suggests, red-winged blackbirds can often be seen and heard in the wetlands. The Larimer and Weld Canal flows on the north side of Redwing Marsh. 0.2 miles natural surface Redwing Marsh is north and east of Greenbriar Park (Willox Lane) with walk-in access from surrounding neighborhoods. Nearest parking is at Greenbriar Park. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Reservoir Ridge Visitors to this foothills natural area enjoy its rugged trails, access to the 6.8 mile Foothills Trail, wildlife viewing opportunities and a feeling of remoteness- all close to Fort Collins. You’ll see dramatic rock outcroppings, grasslands, mountain mahogany shrubs and a few ponderosa pines. Views of the city and Horsetooth Reservoir are great from the trails! About 3.5 miles of soft surface trail. Reservoir Ridge is the northern end of the 6.8 mile Foothills Trail. The Foothills Trail connects Pineridge, Maxwell and Reservoir Ridge natural areas. Trail markers show you the way. Biking on the Foothills Trail is for the experienced cyclist- the trail is challenging. Parking lots on Centennial Drive/ CR 23 and at the west end of Michaud Lane. Horse trailer parking is available: 1 spot at Michaud Lane parking lot, 2 spots at Centennial parking lot. Hiking Mountain Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash River’s Edge River's Edge provides an opportunity to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Cache La Poudre River. You might spot a red fox or deer, see a kingfisher or a mallard family float by. Rivers Edge Natural Area is part of a complex of parks and natural areas that create a natural green corridor along the river. It’s a great natural escape just blocks from Old Town. 0.1 mile soft surface Parking at the west end of Woodlawn Drive; trail access from Lee Martinez Park and Salyer Natural Area Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Riverbend Ponds Riverbend Ponds offers a lot of diversity with a stretch of the Poudre River, several ponds and wetlands. There are seven former gravel mine ponds to choose from so it is a popular fishing site. The Colorado Division of Wildlife stocks the ponds with warm-water species (usually largemouth bass, crappie and channel catfish). Birders also enjoy Riverbend Ponds- over 200 species of birds feed, rest, nest, and migrate through including green herons, a wide variety of ducks, American white pelicans, double- crested cormorants and others. Riverbend Ponds’ flat trails with loop options and varied habitat appeal to many hikers and dog-walkers. Check out the self-guided interpretive trail too! You may notice evidence of recent earth-moving/construction for a flood control project. Restoration of native plants in areas formerly dominated by weedy non-natives, is going well. You can help restoration efforts by staying on established trails. About 3 miles of natural surface trails and a boardwalk from the Cherly St. entrance. A paved trail underpass under Prospect Road connects to recreational opportunities on the south side of Prospect: Cottonwood Hollow and Running Deer natural areas and CSU’s Environmental Learning Center. Parking lots on Cherly Street (off Summitview), Prospect St, Cairnes St (off Timberline). Can also be accessed from the underpass under Prospect Rd/ Running Deer Natural Area. There is usually room for a horse trailer to park at the Prospect Street parking lot, but a spot is not designated. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Non-motorized Boating Ross You are invited to enjoy Ross Natural Area. On the southwest corner of Rolland Moore Park, this small site serves as an urban wildlife corridor. Try a family picnic at Rolland Moore Park followed by nature walk at Ross- off trail exploration is allowed. Ross is one of the older natural areas, purchased in 1978. An exciting plant has been discovered at Ross- sweetflag (Acorus calamus). All of the records for this plant in Colorado are historical, no living populations of sweetflag existed in Colorado...until now. Thank you to Vickie Traxler (rare plant volunteer) and Crystal Strouse (Natural Areas Program) for their plant survey work and this discovery! 0.7 mile of the paved Spring Creek Trail (wheelchair accessible); 0.2 mile natural surface Parking at Rolland Moore Park and trail access from Spring Creek Trail. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Running Deer As its name suggests, deer love Running Deer because of the plentiful food, water and shelter for them here. Visitors may see deer either bedded down or running across the site. In spring and summer, you may see American white pelicans flying low over Running Deer as they head for the ponds at adjacent Cottonwood Hollow Natural Area. Thank you to Great Outdoors Colorado who provided a grant to help purchase this site. About 2 miles of soft surface trail. Running Deer is one of the few natural areas where no bikes or dogs are permitted. Dogs and bikes are allowed at Riverbend Ponds, on the north side of Prospect Rd. Parking lots on east Prospect Rd and at the Colorado Welcome Center on Prospect Rd. Also can be reached via the Prospect Rd underpass from Riverbend Ponds Natural Area. Hiking Salyer Easy to get to from the Poudre Trail and nearby neighborhoods, this site is an enjoyable part of the natural area experience along the north side of the Poudre River. Look for waterfowl and birds such as killdeers, belted kingfishers, and song sparrows. You may notice the iris on the site sign- it is a native plant found at Salyer. The iris have been temporarily relocated while the meadow is restored to its native condition. Look for the iris to be replanted in a few years, once restoration is complete. 0.3 miles paved (wheelchair accessible); 0.3 miles natural surface Nearest parking is at the west end of Woodlawn Drive or the west end of Hemlock Street. Trail access from Lee Martinez Park and McMurry Natural Area. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Soapstone Prairie Soapstone is extraordinary with over 28 square miles of wide open vistas, nearly pristine grasslands, miles of trails and world-renowned cultural resources. It is truly a place to treasure! Visit Soapstone Prairie to meet the past, enjoy the present and preserve the future. Trails From the South Trailhead Trails open to horseback riding, cycling and hiking. Cheyenne Rim Trail, 11.7 miles with connection to Canyon trail and Red Mountain Open Space. Pronghorn Loop, 7.5 mile loop with connection to Plover Trail and Sand Wash Trail Plover Trail, 7 miles, closed April 1- July 15 for grassland birds, connects to Pronghorn Loop and Sandwash Trail Equestrians must use the South Trailhead, 16 horse trailer parking spots are available. If the parking lot is full, please come back another time. All trailheads have a picnic shelter, vault toilet, information kiosk and parking. Trails from the North Trailhead Trails open to cycling and hiking (no horses) Lindenmeier Overlook, 1/4 mile paved trail to pavillion with interpretive signs and seating Mahogany Trail, 5 mile "lolipop" trail with connection to Canyon Trail and Pronghorn Loop Towhee Trail, 3 mile loop hiking only, with connection to Mahogany Trail and Canyon Trail Canyon Trail, 5 mile trail on north edge of property with connection to Plover Trail and Red Mountain Open Space Sand Wash Trail, 1.5 miles connects Canyon Trail and Pronghorn Loop All trailheads have a picnic shelter, vault toilet, information kiosk and parking. Hours are dawn to dusk, March 1- December 1. Soapstone Prairie is closed in December, January and February. No dogs are allowed (not even in cars). Hiking Mountain Biking Equestrian Picnicking Springer Springer is a forested natural area along the Poudre River Trail. Just a short distance east of Lemay on the Poudre River Trail, visitors will find an interpretive sign that describes the American black currant, listed as critically imperiled in Colorado, which grows on Springer Natural Area. Wildlife watchers are likely to see and hear the many migratory songbirds, waterfowl, and waterbirds that are typically found here. You may also see evidence of beaver activity on this natural area. 0.3 miles of the paved Poudre River Trail (wheelchair accessible) Nearest parking is at Lemay/Mulberry (Qdoba/Dairy Queen area). Trail access from the Poudre River Trail. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Sterling A great place to visit! You'll enjoy views of the mountains and a feeling of remoteness, even close to town. Accessible only through North Shields Pond Natural Area, Sterling is popular for equestrians and hikers. Birdwatchers will want to look for red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons, snow geese and American wigeons. Native plants include showy milkweed (upon which the monarch butterfly is dependent), cattails, and cottonwood trees. Combined, Sterling and North Shields Ponds offer 1.5 miles of natural surface trail, wheelchair accessible fishing deck, picnic tables. North Shields Pond Natural Area parking lot on Shields St, north of Shields/Vine, west side of road. Sterling Natural Area is only accessed by the trail connection from North Shields Pond Natural Area. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Fishing Non-motorized Boating Picnicking The Coterie A coterie is a family group of prairie dogs. A coterie typically consists of one adult male, several adult females, and their offspring- it’s a closely knit group, recognizing each other by an identifying kiss or sniff. Family groups cooperate to raise young, construct burrows, groom each other, play and defend the coterie territory. The Natural Areas Program acquired The Coterie Natural Area in 2000 in order to protect the prairie dog colony. Bicyclists and pedestrians on the trail often stop to watch the antics of these active creatures. 0.1 miles of the paved (wheelchair accessible) Spring Creek Trail goes through The Coterie Natural Area. Nearest parking is Edora Park on Riverside St, trail access from Spring Creek Trail. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Two Creeks As its name suggests, two creeks run through this site: Fossil Creek and Mail Creek. They converge in Fossil Creek Community Park. An interesting phenomenon greets visitors on the trail under the Fossil Creek Parkway bridge. During spring and early summer, great numbers of swallows build their mud nests where the concrete support meets the bottom of the bridge. It is fun to watch the activity as massive numbers of adult swallows fly back and forth capturing insects and taking them to their young. By late summer, the activity and most of the nests are gone. For human safety, recreation is on-trail only, as some of the creek banks are extremely unstable. 0.2 miles paved (wheelchair accessible) Nearest parking is at Fossil Creek Park; trail access from Fossil Creek Trail. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Williams Williams Natural Area provides wildlife habitat and is part of the Poudre River’s natural corridor. The paved Poudre River Trail goes through the site. Williams provides drivers and trail visitors alike a respite from the urban environment near a busy intersection. 0.1 miles of the paved Poudre River Trail Nearest parking is at Mulberry/Lemay (Qdoba/Dairy Queen area), trail access from Poudre River Trail. Hiking Biking Equestrian Dog on Leash Other Outdoor Areas in or near Fort Collins Environmental Learning Center Address: 2400 S. Ziegler Rd. Fort Collins CO 80525 Phone: (970) 491-1661 Fax: (970) 491-5883 Access to Poudre Bike Trail Hiking Environmental Education Rocky Mountain Raptor Habitat Larimer County Parks Address: 1800 S. County Road 31 Loveland CO 80537 Phone: (970) 679-4570 Website: http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/parkareas.htm for more info and directions Carter Lake – Fee Area Carter Lake is located in the foothills west of Loveland at an elevation of 5,760 feet. It is a part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The purpose of this water project is to divert water from the west slope to the east slope for drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower generation. The Bureau of Reclamation is solely responsible for power generation. The agencies jointly manage water levels for irrigation, municipal, and industry use. Recreation is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources. Three miles long and about one mile wide, Carter Lake is a 1,100-acre reservoir surrounded by 1,000 acres of public lands and is popular for fishing, sailing, camping, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing, and water skiing. It is open year round. Park Entrance Permits and Camping Fees are required. Hiking Biking Equestrian Camping Scuba Diving Fishing Boating Camping Rock Climbing Swimming Picnicking Devil’s Backbone Open Space Red-tailed hawks soaring above, grasslands carpeted with wildflowers, towering rock formations - these are just some of the natural features that can be enjoyed at the Devil's Backbone Open Space. The 2198-acre Devil's Backbone Open Space provides abundant opportunities on a seven-mile trail for outdoor recreation including hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, observing nature, as well as enjoying close-up inspection of the rock outcrop and long vistas of the area, while on the trail. The Devil's Backbone is one of the most impressive and visible geologic landmarks in Larimer County, as well as an important cultural feature with a rich and colorful history. An interpretive brochure that corresponds with numbered stops along trail allows visitors to learn about the native flora, abundant fauna, outstanding geology, and remarkable history of the site. Additionally, visitors can learn how they can protect this valuable natural resource and actively participate in such programs as volunteer naturalists and trail maintenance. Parking is at the trailhead parking area on Hidden Valley Drive (near the old water tank) off of US 34. This is about 1/3 mile east of Glade Road. Drinking water is available at the trailhead. Please be sure to carry enough for your hike or ride. This is a very popular open space, so if you should arrive and find the parking lot full you will know that the trails are at maximum capacity. Please consider one of our other open spaces, such as Ramsay-Shockey Open Space or Rimrock Open Space for your outdoor enjoyment that day, and come back to the Devil's Backbone another time. Hiking Equestrian Biking Picnicking Eagle’s Nest Open Space Eagle's Nest Open Space, near Livermore, provides breathtaking views of the Laramie Foothills. Along the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River you will discover the mountain mahogany foothills interspersed with rabbitbrush and ponderosa pine, which provide a diverse habitat for fauna such as deer, elk, coyote, mountain lion, black bear, and small mammals. Eagle's Nest Rock is a local landmark, as well as home to nesting golden eagles. In fact, eagles have nested here for over a hundred years! This open space has been preserved for the protection of the wildlife and your enjoyment. There are approximately five miles of trails open to hiking and equestrian recreation that allow you to roam through the most scenic parts of this 755-acre property. The trails are located to avoid intrusions on sensitive wildlife habitat and a golden eagle nesting area. The area downstream of the North Fork of the Poudre River bridge is closed to fishing or any public access from February 1 to July 15, while the golden eagles are nesting nearby. In order to protect the resources on the open space please stay on the designated trails, respect seasonal closures, and observe Leave No Trace practices. Please be prepared with plenty of drinking water, as water is not available at the trailhead. One item of note - Eagle's Nest Open Space provides pasture for a working ranch. This means that you will be sharing your trail with cattle! Roaming among these herds makes it seem as though you have been transported back in time to the old west. That was a time when everyone knew their neighbors, and there was always a "Howdy" to any stranger on the trail. We have all helped purchase Eagle's Nest Open Space. Get intimately involved with your land by learning more about its wildlife, plant life, history, geology, and ranching tradition through the books listed under Reading Recommendations (below). Hiking Equestrian Flatiron Reservoir – Fee Area Flatiron Reservoir is 47 acres of water surrounded by 200 acres of public land. It is located northwest of Carter Lake at an elevation of 5,470 feet and is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The purpose of this water project is to divert water from the west slope to the east slope for drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower generation. Reclamation is solely responsible for power generation. The agencies jointly manage water levels for irrigation, municipal, and industry use. Recreation is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources. Flatiron Reservoir is a popular spot for fishing and family camping. No boating or swimming is allowed on Flatiron Reservoir; however, nearby Carter Lake offers both boating opportunities and a swimbeach. Park Entrance Permits and Camping Fees are required. Fishing Picnicking Hermit Park Open Space – Fee Area Hermit Park Open Space nestles into the hills, approximately two miles southeast of Estes Park, at an elevation of 7880-8964 feet. The preservation of this stunning area is a joint effort between Larimer County, Agilent Technologies, Town of Estes Park, Estes Valley Land Trust, Great Outdoors Colorado, City of Loveland, Erion Foundation, City of Fort Collins, McWhinney Foundation, Town of Berthoud, and many more contributors . Recreation is managed by Larimer County Department of Natural Resources. Hermit Park Open Space's features include cabins, RV and tent camping, special events, reservable group use pavilion, hiking trails, wetlands, horseback riding, mountain biking, group campground, and much more! The park remains open year round, although some areas close seasonally. Entrance permits and camping fees are required. Hiking Equestrian Biking Picnicking Horsetooth Mountain Open Space – Fee Area Horsetooth Mountain Open Space (consisting of Culver, Soderberg, and Hughey Open Spaces) is a scenic 2,711 acre park located on the west side of Horsetooth Reservoir. It is located 4 miles from Fort Collins and 12 miles northwest of Loveland. Elevations vary from 5,430 feet at Horsetooth Reservoir to 7,255 feet at the top of Horsetooth Rock. Horsetooth Rock is one of the most outstanding features in the park and is a very familiar landmark in Fort Collins and Larimer County. According to a local European legend, Horsetooth Rock is the remains of the heart of an evil giant, cut in two by the powerful Native American, Chief Maununmoku, thus protecting his people from the giant's wrath. The open space is also known for waterfalls and tremendous views of the Front Range. Horsetooth Mountain Open Space offers over 29 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. The mild foothills climate offers year- round opportunities. Parking is available at two locations: the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space trailhead parking area, immediately off CR 38 E approximately 5 - 6 miles west of the intersection of Harmony and Taft Hill in Fort Collins, and the Soderberg Open Space trailhead parking area, accessed by following signs to Inlet Bay off of Shoreline Drive. Drinking water is available at the trailhead. Please be sure to carry enough for your hike or ride. This is a very popular open space, so if you should arrive and find the parking lot full you will know that the trails are at maximum capacity. Please consider one of our other open spaces, such as Devil's Backbone Open Space or Rimrock Open Space for your outdoor enjoyment that day, and come back to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space another time. Hiking Biking Equestrian Picnicking Horsetooth Reservoir – Fee Area Located in the foothills west of Fort Collins at an elevation of 5,430 feet, Horsetooth Reservoir is 1,900 acres of water surrounded by 2,000 acres of public land. It is popular for fishing, boating, camping, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing, and water skiing. This 6.5-mile reservoir is open year round and is a part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The purpose of this water project is to divert water from the west slope to the east slope for drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower generation. The Bureau of Reclamation is solely responsible for power generation. The agencies jointly manage water levels for irrigation, municipal, and industry use. Recreation is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources. Park Entrance Permits and Camping Fees are required. Hiking Biking Fishing Boating Swimming Picnicking Pinewood Reservoir – Fee Area Pinewood Reservoir is located west of Carter Lake at an elevation of 6,580 feet. Pinewood is 100 acres of water surrounded by 327 acres of public land. It is popular for trout fishing and camping. It is also a part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The purpose of this water project is to divert water from the west slope to the east slope for drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower generation. Reclamation is solely responsible for power generation. The agencies jointly manage water levels for irrigation, municipal, and industry use. Recreation is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources. Boating is allowed at Pinewood Reservoir at a wakeless speed. Swimming is not allowed; however, a swim beach is located at nearby Carter Lake Dam 2. The park is open year-round. Park Entrance Permits and Camping Fees are required. Hiking Picnicking Boating Fishing Ramsey-Shockey Open Space – Fee Area The Ramsay-Shockey Open Space, adjacent to Pinewood Reservoir, was purchased in 1997 with the intent to protect important wildlife habitat, to provide a buffer to Pinewood Reservoir and to allow for expanded recreational activities. On this 177-acre property, a four-mile natural surface trail allows hikers and mountain bikers to enjoy extraordinary vistas of the surrounding valley in a peaceful ponderosa pine forest and open meadow setting. The trail from the Blue Mountain Campground allows access to a ¼-mile wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. An interpretive brochure that corresponds with numbered stops along trail allows visitors to learn about the native flora, abundant fauna, outstanding geology, and remarkable history of the site. Additionally, visitors can learn how they can protect this valuable natural resource and actively participate in such programs as volunteer rangers, nature hike leaders and trail maintenance. This open space is located northwest of Pinewood Reservoir, directly west of the dam and Fisherman's Cove. The trailhead is at the dam on the north end of the reservoir. Hiking Equestrian Biking Picnicking Rimrock Open Space Rimrock Open Space is an important component of Larimer County's Front Range Mountain Backdrop and continues the protection of significant aesthetic and ecological values. The unmarred view of imposing red rock cliffs rising against a mottled background of mountain mahogany shrubland is a striking western landscape that is rapidly disappearing as residential development creeps into the Larimer County foothills. From incursions by native peoples, to settlement by homesteaders, to the influence of quarries and an encroaching community, this area has seen a great deal of change over time. The Larimer County Open Lands Program purchased the 472-acre Rimrock Open Space in partnership with the City of Fort Collins. Currently access to Rimrock Open Space is accomplished through the Coyote Ridge Natural Area off County Road 19, midway between Fort Collins and Loveland. Here hikers, mountain bike enthusiasts, and equestrians may traverse a seven mile round-trip trail and enjoy a spectacular viewshed of dramatic red rock cliffs and hogback valleys. In the summer of 2006, the Rimrock Open Space trail system became part of the Blue Sky Trail extending from the Devil's Backbone trailhead to Horsetooth Reservoir. Hiking Biking Equestrian Roosevelt National Forest – see attached Visitors Guide for more info. The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland(ARP) is located in north central Colorado. The forests and grassland encompasses 1.5 million acres and extends north to the Wyoming border, south of Interstate 70 to Mount Evans, west across the Continental Divide to the Williams Fork area and includes short grass prairie east of I-25. The forests and grassland is head-quartered in Fort Collins, with district offices in Boulder, Fort Collins, Idaho Springs, Granby and Greeley. What to do? o Camping, Picnicking, Scenic Drives, Wildlife Viewing, Hiking Trails, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Canoeing and Flat-water Boating, Rafting and Kayaking, Four-wheel Driving, Dirt Bikes and ATVs, Skiing and Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling, Fishing and Hunting, and Horseback Riding. Where to go? o Scenic Byways, Wilderness Areas, Cache la Poudre Wild and Scenic River, Arapaho National Recreation Area, Historical and Archeological Sites, and ARP Area Map. What to know? o Permits and Passes, Forest and Grassland Ecosystems, Campgrounds (mapped locations new in 2009), Outdoor Safety, Volunteer Opportunities, Order Form for Maps and Passports, and Handy Numbers and Web Sites. Most areas of national forests and grasslands are open, free of charge, for your use and enjoyment. Fees or permits may be required for use of some areas, specific facilities or services. Business permit holders, such as campground concessionaires and outfitter guides, may provide services to public land users. Passes and permits are available at ranger district offices.