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Natural Areas

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area#

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Trail Status

Bobcat Ridge will be closed Monday, May 16th for regular maintenance. Please respect the closure.

Description#

Discover Bobcat Ridge Natural Area! Youll find a grassy valley, foothills, ponderosa pines, stunning red rock cliffs and more. Bobcat Ridge is home to elk, wild turkey, mountain lions and other wildlife. Several historic homestead sites dot the landscape. 

Note: This is one of the few Fort Collins natural areas on which dogs are not allowed. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is an on-trail-only natural area.

Buckhorn Addition Will Add 675 Acres to Bobcat Ridgehighlight_off

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is purchasing 675-acres adjacent to Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. The acquisition will take place in two parts; 414 acres were bought in April 2022, and 261 acres are planned to be purchased in early 2023.

Buckhorn Addition: Closed to the Public for Now With Future Access & Trailshighlight_off

While the Buckhorn Addition will not be open to the public for some time, there are several potential opportunities for future visitor use including event space rentals and a trail network to connect to adjoining conserved lands. The addition includes a ranch homestead, a shop building, and structures associated with an event center.   

"This acquisition is a real conservation and visitor success story. We are conserving wildlife habitat and the iconic viewshed of Bobcat Ridge, while planning for the future of visitor use in our community." said Katie Donahue, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Director.   

Future public access will be planned and opportunities for public engagement will be available once both real estate deals are finalized.

Buckhorn Addition: Partnership, Priority & Valueshighlight_off

Thanks to a partnership with Larimer County Natural Resources, a portion of the purchase price was funded in exchange for a conservation easement on the entirety of Bobcat Ridge, which after both additional land acquisitions will total 3,280-acres.  

The acquisition is in a high-priority area for both the City of Fort Collins and Larimer County.  It eliminates 11, 35-acre homesites and a 28-lot subdivision, which were ready for development and would have negatively impacted the scenic values and wildlife corridors at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. The Larimer County conservation easement is a pilot case in a new effort to encumber City-owned natural areas with conservation easements to perpetually protect conservation values.  

The Buckhorn Addition to Bobcat Ridge provides excellent wildlife habitat and includes ponderosa pine forests, mountain mahogany shrublands, riparian areas along Buckhorn Creek, and rock outcroppings. The network of conserved lands around Bobcat Ridge are important for wildlife including elk, black bear, turkey, the federally threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, and more.  

Feedback & Updates on Buckhorn Addition to Bobcat Ridgehighlight_off

Community members can leave feedback about the management of natural areas at fcgov.com/naturalareas/feedback.

Updates about the Buckhorn Addition to Bobcat Ridge will be posted on this website and in enews (subscribe by clicking "newsletter" at the top of this page).

Trails#

  • The Valley Loop Trail: Moderate, 4-mile loop
  • Eden Valley Spur: moderate, an out and back route, 1.3 miles along the valley bottom.
  • Ginny Trail: Very difficult, 5.4 miles, climbs 1,500 feet, open for hiking and mountain biking, closed to horses.
  • D.R. Trail: Difficult, 3.4 miles long, climbs 1,100 feet, open to equestrians and hikers, closed to cyclists.
  • Powerline Road: Very difficult, 1.5 miles long, climbs steeply with loose rocks so not recommended for horses, uphill only for cyclists.

E-bikes are not permitted on soft/natural surface trails. ADA mobility devices are allowed. Trail accessibility is found here.

Trail Map

Hours#

Bobcat Ridge is open dawn to dusk, daily. The parking lot often fills to capacity on weekends and holidays. If the lot is full, please come back another time (no parking on the road). Horse trailer parking is limited to 8 spots. Check the camera below before you go! 

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Parking Lot Webcam#

Directions#

Bobcat Ridge's address is 10184 West County Road 32C, Loveland.

From Fort Collins, take Harmony Road west, it turns into CR 38 E. Follow CR 38 E to Masonville. Go left (south) at the Masonville Mercantile onto CR 27. Follow CR 27 about 1 mile to CR 32 C, head west about 1 mile to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot. 
From Loveland, go west on Highway 34 about 4.5 miles west of Wilson Avenue. Turn north on CR 27 by Big Thompson Elementary and drive 4.5 miles. Turn left on CR 32C and go 1 mile west to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot. 

Hikers

Valley Loop hikers

Child

Child using mounted binoculars at Bobcat Ridge

Family

Family hikes at Bobcat Ridge

Tracks

Bear tracks at Bobcat Ridge

Horses

Horseback Riders by Crystal Strouse

Teaching

CSU Pulliam Scholar teaches at Bobcat Ridge

Related Information#

  • Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Ranger Office 970-461-2700
  • Special people have volunteered to take an active role in the stewardship of natural areas by doing monthly litter pick-ups. You can join the fun and adopt a natural area, too!

Management Plans

History

Wildlife and Plants

Bobcat Ridge brochure