A natural area just blocks from downtown Fort Collins, along the Poudre River. Interpretive signs and benches help you enjoy this special spot. When you visit, look for birds- over 45 species of birds have been seen here including green-winged teal, great blue herons, owls, kestrels, and Bullocks orioles. Bats, foxes, and deer are also seen here from time to time.
Gustav Swanson Natural Area was dedicated on July 31, 1988, as a "tribute to a man who, over many years, was instrumental in focusing community attention on the potential of the river corridor and the need to make this natural amenity more accessible."
Gustav Swanson Natural Area in summer, Karl Manderbach
Gustav Swanson Natural Area
The parking lot is on Linden Street, between Riverside St. and Buckingham St. The approximate address is 445 Linden Street. Gustav Swanson Natural Area has no entrance fee or parking fee.
Events and Activities#
- Free educational activities and events in June-October are listed in the Natural Areas Explorer booklet.
- Last minute activity additions, trail recommendations and events offered between November-May are in our free monthly electronic newsletter- sign up on this page.
- Check out the Natural Areas Learning Library for some great self-guided activities.
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- Cache La Poudre Natural Areas Management Plan
- An article about Gustav Swanson in Bird Watchers Digest, September/October 1991.
- In Memoriam: Gustav Swanson from the Auk (A Quarterly Journal of Ornithology published by the American Ornithologists' Union), July 1996.
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Plant List for Gustav Swanson Natural Area. Volunteers were critical in making the list possible, thank you!
- Gustav Swanson Natural Area is an Important Bird Area, learn more here.