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River Projects

The City of Fort Collins has many projects along the Cache La Poudre River that will cause trail closures and construction in 2014 and beyond. These projects will ultimately create a healthier river environment and benefit the community. Learn more below.

Trail Closures Along the Poudre River Corridor: Nov 19, 2014

Status Trail
Partial closure Poudre Trail view closure details

Updated Nov 26:  The Poudre Trail will be closed from Tafthill Road east to Lee Martinez Park from December 1, 2014 through January 5, 2015 (weather permitting) for the North Shields Street Sewer Project.  Please obey the barricades and follow the detours as they are in place for your safety.


Updated September 26:

The underpass at Mulberry Ave. along the Poudre Trail will be closed periodically due to the Mulberry Bridge replacement project. Trail users will be directed to detour to the intersection of Lemay and Mulberry, utilizing the crosswalks and bike lanes to return access to the Poudre Trail.

Safety fencing along the trail is in place due to the construction activity in the vicinity of Mulberry and Lemay for the Mulberry bridge replacement project.  Please use caution while traveling the Poudre Trail in this area.

As always, please use caution and be prepared to use alternate routes and obey all barricades and detours along the Poudre Trail as they are in place for your safety.

  • Kingfisher Point :
    The City of Fort Collins Stormwater Department is doing bank stabilization work in the Poudre River and accessing the work site through Kingfisher Point Natural Area. Watch for heavy equipment. No trail closures are expected.
  • North Shields Ponds :
    The trail through the restoration area (west ponds) is closed to allow restoration work to be completed. The trail is expected to be open by the end of November.
  • All other trails are open! Enjoy your river corridor!
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Trail Closures Ahead

The City is committed to minimizing trail closures caused by Poudre River Projects, however some closures are unavoidable.  Here is a summary of upcoming Poudre Trail closures:

Fall/Winter 2014

  • The Poudre Trail will be closed just upstream of the north end of Wood Street for rip rap repair.  The trail will be closed for about 1 month in the fall.  A detour will be provided.
  • The Poudre Trail underpass under Shields Street will be closed while the Shields Street bridge is replaced. The detour will use Taft Hill Rd to Vine Drive then east to Wood St, to Elm St and to The Farm and the Poudre Trail. Larimer County will begin this project in late 2014.

Map for Mulberry Bridge project.

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Poudre River Downtown Project

The City of Fort Collins has developed a draft master plan for the Cache la Poudre River in the downtown corridor (Shields Street to Mulberry Street) to improve in-river and bankside recreation, habitat connectivity, restoration and rehabilitation, bank protection, flood mitigation and floodplain management, water quality, public safety and access, and transportation. Learn more >>>

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Breweries, Colorado Water Trust Partner to Support City's Poudre River Restoration

The Cache la Poudre River has been called the heart of Fort Collins, and the City of Fort Collins has been focusing on improving the river’s health.  A healthyworking  river is also key for another Fort Collins staple…beer! Local breweries and the Colorado Water Trust have come together to support a restoration project and the removal of the Josh Ames Diversion Dam at North Shields Ponds Natural Area.  In addition to a $300,000 grant from Colorado Water Trust, Odell Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, Pateros Creek Brewery, and Funkwerks Brewery contributed nearly $37,000 in matching dollars. 

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Woodward Technology Center Construction

Fort Collins-based Woodward is building a legacy headquarters and manufacturing campus on the former Link-N-Greens golf course between Lincoln and Mulberry avenues west of Lemay Avenue. The company plans to invest $169 million in the project, including $23.5 million in public assistance. Woodward also has donated 31 acres for Natural Areas and habitat restoration. The campus is expected to employ 1,400 people. Learn more at

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Natural Areas Department's River Projects Brochure (PDF)

The Natural Areas Department is sponsoring or collaborating on many projects along the Cache la Poudre River.  This brochure highlights challenges and opportunities, the department's goals and describes 7 projects.

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Flood Warning System

There are 66 streamflow and precipitation gages in Fort Collins to keep residents informed.  You can view real-time data about your area and across the community.  Learn more >>>

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Wildfires and Water Quality (PDF)

This poster includes information about:

- Water Quality Monitoring

- Collaborative Fire Studies

- Early Warning System

- Fire Effects Mitigation

Contact Jill Oropeza, City of Fort Collins Water Resources & Treatment Services to learn more,

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Water Supply and Storage

More water storage is needed in order to meet our community's future needs.

  Learn more at

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Reconnecting the River with its Floodplain (PDF)

Ecological restoration work at McMurry and North Shields Ponds natural areas has removed unnatural debris from the riverbank, physically lower them and transformed the landscape with native shrubs, and trees. The physical lowering of the riverbank permited higher river flows to safely spill onto adjacent low-lying areas within the natural areas. This has revitalized and invigorated the natural and historic interaction between the river and its floodplain. The abandoned Ames diversion structure has been removed in order to permit fish passage, reduce downstream “dry-up”, and improve river-based recreation such as fishing and floating.

Poudre River Development Review & Buffer Standards (PDF)

Learn about proposed or under construction developments along the Poudre River and key information about the Poudre River Buffer Standards contained in the City of Fort Collins Land Use Code.

River District Design Standards (PDF)

The River District Design Standards project will identify, evaluate and implement measures to achieve high quality design and preserve/promote the unique character of the River District's built environment.

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Arapaho Bend Trailhead

Arapaho Bend Natural Area, already a popular fishing and birding site, is on its way to becoming the eastern gateway to the Poudre Trail.  There will be a new parking lot, a segment of concrete trail, and an I-25 pedestrian overpass linking Timnath’s trail to the Fort Collins trail system. 

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Understanding River Health (PDF)

The Natural Areas Department is improving understanding of the urban stretch of the Poudre River by creating an interdisciplinary ecological model.  The Ecological Response Model (ERM) is based on a wealth of expert scientific knowledge combined with local data.  Preliminary results indicate that current flows, which reflect withdrawals for municipal and agricultural uses, are approaching the low end of flow thresholds that matter for scouring algae and for aquatic habitat and channel maintenance.  The ERM will foster a more informed dialog with a broad audience of stakeholders about the current and anticipated use and condition of the river. Learn more >>>


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Go With the Flow

 The Cache La Poudre is, in part, a “working river” and it delivers water to thirsty communities and agriculture.  Unfortunately, aquatic life is challenged by dry-up points and rapid changes in flows due to water delivery practices. The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is working to identify management options that reduce or eliminate low flows as well as moderate flow volatility while still providing water- the life blood of communities and agriculture.