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Natural Areas Newsletter Natural Areas Newsletter
Recreationists on the Poudre River Trail, anglers and people looking for a nature break in the city enjoy Kingfisher Point Natural Area. You might see birds such as great horned owls (they occasionally nest here), kingfishers, wood ducks, pelicans and western tanagers. On a warm evening, you might hear chorus frogs.
Some portions of Kingfisher Point do not look like you might expect a natural area to look. That is because sugar beet waste was dumped on the land for many years. The resulting lime, while not a hazardous material, is more hospitable to the invasive weed, kochia, than to native plants. Part of Kingfisher Point was once a farm. Restoration is in progress- watch how this site changes over the years, gradually returning to its natural state. Part of Kingfisher Point Natural Area was acquired with the help of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant.
Ponds near the parking lot (west side of Timberline Road) are enjoyed by anglers and occasionally by boaters (non-motorized). More fishing details are listed here.
Restoration Update Fall 2019
The earth-moving phase of restoration work at Kingfisher Point is complete, and the focus has moved to monitoring and maintenance.
The Cache la Poudre River ecosystem relies on high water in the spring, so by lowering steep river banks, the flows can now nourish the surrounding corridor and bring in native cottonwood seeds. With the natural process restored, about eight acres of new native cottonwood forest are on their way to becoming established. Non-native trees have been removed and replaced with natives. Work in the river channel improved fish and aquatic insect habitat. There is now a broader area of wetland and riverside habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife that rely on the river.
At nearby Gadwall Pond, a former gravel mining pit with steep banks, the pond edges were lowered to create a more naturally sloping bank. It is now a great place for native wetland plants to thrive.
Volunteers were important to the Kingfisher Point Restoration Project because they collected the seed that produced the wetland plants used to revegetate Gadwall Pond’s shores and they planted hundreds of native trees and fruit-bearing shrubs. Thank you!
Did you notice that in June 2019, high river flows successfully surged onto the newly connected floodplain and into the newly created off-channel wetland? The backwater area has slow-moving water which attracts great blue herons, bluet damselflies, and Woodhouse’s toads. The mats of wetland plants at Gadwall Pond are taking root and expanding. The Natural Areas Department is excited to monitor the response of the river and pond to these restoration efforts. Have you seen the changes at Kingfisher Point too?
Restoration at Kingfisher Point Natural Area
Kingfisher Point Natural Area Photo Gallery
Approximately 0.8 miles of the paved Poudre Trail (wheelchair accessible), 0.2 miles soft surface trail from parking lot on Timberline. Note that there is no trailhead parking at 1745 Hoffman Mill Road. A short spur trail goes from the Poudre Trail south to the Natural Areas Department's headquarters and maintenance facility (called Nix Farm). Check out the native plant demonstration garden that surrounds the office (Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.). Native Plant Garden Brochure.
5:00 a.m. 11:00 p.m.
Parking lot on Timberline, between Prospect and Mulberry (approximate address is 745 South Timberline Road) or from Poudre Trail between Lemay and Timberline.
Activities and Events
- Free educational activities and events in June-October are listed in the Natural Areas Explorer booklet guide.
- Last minute activity additions, trail recommendations and events offered between November-May are in our free monthly electronic newsletter- sign up on this page.
- Free educational programs at Kingfisher Point Natural Area are available for groups by request, call the Master Naturalist Program at 970-224-6118 or email YWNobGVibmlrQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== .
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- 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!
- The flume and bridge at Kingfisher Point is on the National Historic Register, read the press release here.
- Video about the Great Western Sugar Beet Effluent Flume
- Poudre River Natural Areas Management Plan
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Sugar Beet Flume Information