Skip to main content

Natural Areas

 Contact Information

Dept Head: John Stokes
  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Odor Update: Southeast Fort Collins

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department has received many complaints recently of a very strong odor in southeast Fort Collins. On Monday, 7/8 we determined that the odor is in part, if not largely coming from Duck Lake, which is managed by NAD as a part of the Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Duck Lake is on the south side of Carpenter Road, east of Timberline Road.

The City of Fort Collins and Larimer County are very sorry about the discomfort the odor from Duck Lake has caused many in the surrounding area.

Read the press release

Celebrate Soapstone Prairie Natural Area's 10th Anniversary

Celebrate Soapstone Prairie Natural Area's 10th Anniversary
 

Everyone is invited to celebrate the decade since the opening of Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space with a ceremony and fun interactive stations.

Saturday, July 13

10 a.m.- Ceremony at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area’s South Parking Lot Picnic Shelter

10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. Visit educational stations at Soapstone Prairie and Red Mountain on your own schedule. Families are invited to enjoy a children’s activity at each parking lot. The contents of the time capsule that was created in 2009 will be on display, too.

Van transportation to Soapstone Prairie is available for no charge, registration required at fcgov.com/register. 

The celebration activities are free, no registration required but you can sign up for updates and a reminder at fcgov.com/register.

Learn more

Tracks & Trails is Now the Natural Areas Explorer

Tracks & Trails is Now the Natural Areas Explorer
 

The Natural Areas Explorer is your guide to free activities this summer in Fort Collins natural areas! Formerly called Tracks & Trails, the Explorer booklet lists events like Skygazing and Nature Play Dates for kids, plus a Science Behind the Scenery series, outdoor art classes, and lots more for you to discover. 

New this year, the Explorer features trail recommendations and stewardship tips. Registration is required and new this year, registration opens 30 days prior to the activity.

The Explorer booklet is available online now and printed copies are available at natural area trailheads, Natural Areas Department headquarters (1745 Hoffman Mill Road, M-F, 8-5), and local businesses.

Full calendar of upcoming activities

Foothills Management Plan Update

Foothills Management Plan Update
 

The management plan that applies to Coyote RidgePineridgeMaxwell and Reservoir Ridge natural areas and the Foothills Trail is due for an update in 2019.

Work on the plan includes setting goals and strategies for promoting ecological integrity, protecting natural and cultural resources, and connecting people to nature. The process for developing the Foothills Plan also includes analyzing the existing management plan, evaluating visitor amenities (including trails) and facilitating a public engagement process.  

The final Management Plan product is planned to be released in early fall 2019. To achieve the outcomes described in the plan, a handful of specific projects will be outlined to be accomplished in the next 1-3 years.

Learn More

Play it Safe on the Poudre River

Play it Safe on the Poudre River
 

Sure the water looks inviting- but is it really?

If you decide to get on the water, study this brochure and make a plan. Walk the route before you go tubing, or boating.

More about river safety

Restoration at Kingfisher Point Natural Area

Restoration at Kingfisher Point Natural Area
 

Restoration projects are one example of how residents and the Natural Areas Department conserve and care for natural areas now and for future generations. The restoration project at Kingfisher Point Natural Area will connect a stretch of the Cache la Poudre River to its floodplain and improve habitat. At Gadwall Pond, wetlands are being created and habitat will be enhanced.  Visitors to the Poudre Trail might see heavy equipment and construction, but no trail closures are necessary

Learn more