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Natural Areas

Contact Information

  •   Dept Head: John Stokes
  •   PO Box 580, Fort Collins, CO 80522-0580
  •   1745 Hoffman Mill Road
    Fort Collins, CO 80524
  •   bmF0dXJhbGFyZWFzQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==
  •   970.416.2815
  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Natural Areas Newsletter

Free Upcoming Activities

Spotlight image: Free Upcoming Activities

Skygazing at Fossil Creek Reservoir, Saturday, July 29, 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Meet in the parking lot. Free, registration required at

Nature in the City: Community Projects Development Series, Tuesday, August 1, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. The City of Fort Collins’ Nature in the City program envisions a connected open space network for people and wildlife. Residents, neighborhoods, and HOA’s are invited to develop project ideas and apply for funding to help make this happen. Applications are due this fall for 2018 projects. Join us to learn about available resources, review previous projects, and address common pitfalls. This is the third workshop in the series. A different topic is covered each session and there is time for individual consultations to help you fully communicate your vision. Come to as many sessions as you like. Registration required at

Wade the River, Saturday, August 5, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lee Martinez Park, 600 North Sherwood St. Wade the river with dip nets and collecting trays to discover what lives beneath the surface of the Cache la Poudre River. Biologists will be on-hand to help identify your finds. Fishes, insects, larvae, algae, and more are easily seen with field microscopes. All equipment is provided. Bring your own towels, wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet, and sun and mosquito protection. No registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at The river is dynamic and so are we; we may have to change dates, locations, or cancel for safety reasons.

The Poudre River: A Thousand Years of History, Sunday, August 6, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Old Fort Collins Heritage Park, meet behind the Northside Aztlan Community Center. Enjoy a leisurely hike to consider the origins of the river, human presence through time, the origins of the Heritage designation and the Military Camp that became Fort Collins.  We will also explore current development and restoration projects. Free, registration required.1-2 miles; easy. Free, registration required at

Senior Nature River Stroll, Monday, August 7, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Butterfly Woods Natural Area, meet at the Lions Open Space parking lot. Learn about the Poudre River corridor and the plants and animals that make it their home. Stroll along the river to see this web of live in action. This program is accessible and meant to be enjoyed by seniors with limited mobility. The program will move at a slow pace and is accessible for wheel chairs and walkers. Shade and/or an indoor facility is available. Free, registration required at

Construction at Gateway Natural Area and Picnic Rock

Spotlight image: Construction at Gateway Natural Area and Picnic Rock

Please be advised of construction occurring near the parking lots of Gateway Natural Area and Picnic Rock from mid-July to mid-August. Fort Collins Utilities, with Hydro Construction and Stantec Consultants, will be performing inspections on a 24-inch water pipeline from the mouth of the Poudre Canyon to Gateway Natural Area, approximately 3.5 miles. Traffic and parking should not be impacted. Learn more here.

Tracks & Trails is here! (PDF)

Spotlight image: Tracks & Trails is here!

This booklet is your guide to free activities on Natural Areas, May-October!

New this year, registration is required for all programs. Register using Engage (you must login or create an account).