Natural Areas Enews

Handy Trail Information
With spring on the way, full natural areas parking lots are predicted on weekends. Muddy trails and natural areas closures are forecast too. You can check for closures in five places:
Use the webcam images from Coyote Ridge Natural Area and Bobcat Ridge Natural Area to check for parking before you go. The busiest times are 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on weekends, so try visiting earlier or later, or on weekdays for the best chance at parking. Have an alternate destination in-mind. When parking lots are full try another trailhead or come back another time. Avoid a parking ticket! Only park in designated spaces.

A Trail for March: Long View Trail
The Long View Trail is a paved 4.4 mile multipurpose recreational trail that connects Fort Collins to Loveland. It takes visitors through Hazaleus and Colina Mariposa natural areas (City of Fort Collins), Long View Farm Open Space (Larimer County), and Sunset Vista Natural Area (City of Loveland). The trail and public spaces offer sweeping views of the foothills and mountains, and the natural lands conserve wildlife habitat and agricultural production. The $4 million project was a partnership between the City of Fort Collins, City of Loveland, Larimer County, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), and Colorado Department of Transportation that opened in September. 

When soft-surface trails are closed for mud this spring, try the Long View Trail.
Learn more

City Nature Challenge

Can Fort Collins residents find the most wildlife and plants? Everyone is invited to join the friendly competition between cities across the world, City Nature Challenge. Get outside and collect scientific data!

Three Easy Steps to Participate

  • Download the iNaturalist app
  • Capture photos of wildlife and plants, April 26-29
  • Identify what you found April 30-May 5
Learn more

Foothills Natural Areas Management Plan Update

The Foothills Natural Areas Management Plan applies to Coyote Ridge, Pineridge, Maxwell, and Reservoir Ridge natural areas and the Foothills Trail. The Natural Areas Department is facilitating a comprehensive public engagement process that includes on-site surveys, feedback from non-visitors, stakeholder events, a hike with a planner activity, and an open house. 

Ways to Get Involved

Future updates about the Foothills Management Plan will be included in this newsletter.

Free Upcoming Activities
Friday, March 15 |  08:00 PM - 10:00 PM at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area 
Saturday, April 13 |  08:00- 10:00 PM at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area

Volunteers from Northern Colorado Astronomical Society will be available with large telescopes and lots of information about the night sky. Dress for cold temperatures. You are welcome to bring blankets and chairs. Free, sign-up at

Astronomy & Skygazing
Saturday, May 4, 8-10 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Enjoy a brief family-friendly astronomy program at Bobcat Ridge. Skygazing follows with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society for your viewing pleasure. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Please arrive on time--the gate closes right at the program start time and parking is not allowed on the road outside the gate. Pets are not permitted at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. Free, registration required at

Calendar of free activities

Natural Areas News is published on the first Tuesday of the month with occasional special editions. Newsletter comments are welcome. Please contact Zoe Shark, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, 970-221-6311 or 

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department
PO Box 580, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road
Fort Collins, CO 80522