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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

Soapstone Treasures: The Bison Archaeology Connection! Saturday, August 19, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the south parking lot shelter. Learn about the acquisition of Soapstone Prairie, the history of the American Bison, and the treasures uncovered at the Lindenmeier archaeological site. Bring water, food, sun protection, and any other comforts you might need. Free, registration required at

Naturalists at Soapstone Prairie, Saturday, August 26, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Enjoy a day of learning about the wonders of Soapstone Prairie. Stop by any time. Naturalists will be stationed at the south parking lot, the Lindenmeier Overlook, the bison viewing area and the Towhee Trailhead near the north parking lot. No registration required.

Wild by Wild: Photographs of Wildlife by Wildlife, Saturday, September 2, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Ct. Stop by and view the gallery of the latest wild animal “selfies” taken by remote cameras. Fun family activities include checking a camera, finding wildlife sign, guessing animal sounds, and voting for the best image. Free; no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

Loren Eiseley: Scientist, Poet and Time Traveler, Sunday, September 3, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Learn how Loren Eiseley, an anthropologist and writer, made a key discovery in the 1930s at the famed Lindenmeier site. Be inspired by selected passages from the works of a man described as a "poet wearing the fox skins of a scientist." 0.25 miles; easy. Please bring water, sun and wind protection, and closed-toe shoes. Free, registration required at

Senior Sensory Roll and Stroll, Wednesday, September 6, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Experience the wonders of nature through your five senses on this guided nature walk. Following the walk, take time to express your experience using art media. 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 wheelchairs and walkers. Shade and/or an indoor facility are available at all locations. Free, registration required at

Amphibian Decline: Global to local, a view from the trenches, Wednesday, September 6, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. These informative talks are designed for adults to learn more about research and science related to natural areas. Amphibian decline may seem like an exotic issue, but here in the Front Range of Colorado, some frogs are in trouble. Dr. Erin Muths will introduce a variety of amphibians and detail some of the local research on the secret life of toads. Bring a snack if you like. Parking is limited; please carpool, bike or walk. 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).