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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: Feb 13, 2015

Status Trail
Partial closure Poudre Trail view closure details

Update Friday, May 8: The following underpasses along the Poudre Trail have been closed due to flooded conditions: Overland Trail Road, College Avenue, and Prospect Rd. Please obey signs and barricades that are in place for your safety.

Update 4/23:  Construction will be occurring near the Poudre Trail at Linden Street starting April 28th thru May12st.  Access or use of the trail will not be affected, however users are asked to use caution around the nearby work zone.


REMINDER:  Poudre Trail is CLOSED from Tafthill Road to Lee Martinez Park.  PLEASE comply with the closures and detour in that is in place.  This includes the Poudre trail from the Shields pedestrian bridge east of McMurray Natural Area.  Thank you.


*Attention Poudre Trail users* please be aware of multiple upcoming construction projects along the Poudre Trail that will impact trail users. Work is being performed to re-stabilize river banks related to flood erosion and also planned trail improvements.  Trail detours will be posted, and updates available through the Trails web page.

Poudre Trail at Shields St.  
-Currently closed through mid-July 2015
-Poudre Trail closed between Lee Martinez Park and Taft Hill Rd
-Closure due to Utility construction, bridge replacement, trail     underpass re-alignment, area improvements
-Detour route utilizes North Taft Hill Rd., West Vine Ave., Wood St., Elm St. and Lee Martinez Park
-Work includes both City and County Engineering projects

Poudre Trail at Wood St.              
-Work is concurrent with existing trail closure between Lee Martinez Park and Taft Hill Rd.
-Work needed due to replacement of river bank stabilization material
-Work expected mid-December to mid-April
-City Stormwater Utility project

Poudre Trail at Confluence of Spring Creek Trail
-Work is expected to begin tentatively the week of May 4, 2015, depending on river flow.
-Poudre Trail closure between Timberline Avenue and Prospect Road
-Spring Creek Closure between Prospect Avenue and Poudre Trail
-Work needed due to replacement of river bank stabilization material
-Work is expected to last for 3-4 weeks
-City Stormwater Utility project

Poudre Trail at Mulberry / Lemay Ave.
-Work expected to impact trail users mid February 2015 – June 2015
-Poudre Trail access ramps from Lemay impacted – week of April 13 for approximately 3 weeks / detours will be in place at that time.
-Work needed due to pedestrian bridge installation, stormwater river bank grading
-Park Planning and City Stormwater Utility projects (separate projects, working to coordinate).

Update - Jan 29, 2015:   The pedestrian bridge along Mulberry St. that spans the Poudre River has been removed. Pedestrian traffic is prohibited on Mulberry Street between Riverside Avenue and Lemay Avenue until fall 2015. A signed detour will be in place along Lemay Avenue and Riverside Avenue. Poudre Trail users will continue to have access across Mulberry Street at the traffic signal at Lemay Avenue. As part of the construction for the new Mulberry traffic bridge, the underpass for the Poudre Trail at Mulberry is also closed. 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.

Trail work is continuing on the east side of Lemay Avenue as part of the new Poudre Trail alignment which includes a new Poudre River pedestrian bridge installation. Trail work is expected to force the closure of the trail periodically, and trail users will be detoured along Hoffman Mill Road and Nix Farm to re-connect to the Poudre Trail.


  • North Shields Ponds :
    Neighborhood access only as Shields Street is closed for construction until the end of August.
  • Riverbend Ponds :
    The boardwalk near the Cherly Street entrance will be reconstructed, so that segment of trail will be closed from now to July 2015. Please use alternate trails and access points during the project.
  • All other trails are open! Enjoy your river corridor!
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Ecological Response Model

The Ecological Response Model (ERM) was initiated by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department in collaboration with a team of nine scientists to better understand past, present and potential future conditions of the Poudre River through Fort Collins. This effort supports a community-driven quest to manage for an ecologically healthy and resilient Poudre River. Learn more >>>

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Poudre River Downtown Project

The City of Fort Collins has developed a 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 came 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. See a 3 minute video about the project.

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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 conveyed 31 acres to the City as part of the agreement, Homestead Natural Area.  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.This brochure will be updated in 2015.

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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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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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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.