Gustav Swanson Natural Area
A natural area just blocks from downtown 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.
Gustav Swanson Natural Area was dedicated on July 31, 1988, as a "tribute to a man who, over many years, was instrumental in focusing community attention on the potential of the river corridor and the need to make this natural amenity more accessible."
0.4 miles paved (wheelchair accessible) Trail Map >>>
5:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
The parking lot is on Linden Street, between Riverside St. and Buckingham St. The approximate address is 445 Linden Street.
Events & Activities
- Free educational activities and events in June-October are listed in the Tracks & Trails booklet guide, available in May.
- Last minute activity additions, trail recommendations and events offered between November-May are in our free monthly electronic newsletter- sign up in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
- Free educational programs at Gustav Swanson Natural Area are available for groups by request, call the Master Naturalist Program at 970-224-6118 or email
- Gustav Swanson Natural Area is available for adoption! By picking up litter, adopters enhance habitat for wildlife and native plants while increasing fellow visitors' enjoyment.
- Cache La Poudre Natural Areas Management Plan
- An article about Gustav Swanson in Bird Watchers Digest, September/October 1991.
In Memoriam: Gustav Swanson from the Auk (A Quarterly Journal of Ornithology published by the American Ornithologists' Union), July 1996.