A beautiful foothills natural area where visitors can enjoy scenic views of the mountains and of the city. Listen for the spotted towhees call, which sounds like drink-your-teeeee, and look for mule deer which are common but easily blend into the mountain mahogany shrubs. The rare Bells twinpod grows at Maxwell. Watch out for rattlesnakes here.
Watch for Trail Work at Maxwell#
Crews and volunteers will be performing trail maintenance at Maxwell Natural Area in 2023. Work will occur in two phases; first, repairs to the trail tread in Maxwell’s lower valley will happen during seasonal wet and muddy trail closures. A second phase will occur in late spring and includes completing a trail realignment and trail tread repair work in Maxwell’s upper basin.
No changes are being made to the climbing/descending section of trail. The trailwork is part of planned efforts at Maxwell that have been underway recently plus routine maintenance.
The goals of these projects are to improve overall trail sustainability and visitor safety.
No trail closures are planned.
Want to grab a hand tool and help? Save the date for a trail project at Maxwell Natural Area on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 10th, registration will open in May at fcgov.com/register
The 1.5 mile trail at Maxwell Natural Area is part of the 9.6 mile Foothills Trail which crosses city, county, state and federal lands. The Foothills Trail connects Pineridge, Maxwell and Reservoir Ridge natural areas. Trail markers show you the way. Biking on the Foothills Trail is for the experienced cyclist- the trail is challenging.
Maxwell Natural Area's parking lot is off County Rd 42C, its approximate address is 3502 CR 42C. Please do not park along CR 42C roadway. Walk-in/bike-in access is available from Larimer County's Rotary Park (fee required) and from Banyon Drive. There is one designated horse trailer parking spot.
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.
- Check out the Natural Areas Learning Library for some great self-guided activities.
- 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!
- Maxwell Trail Map
- Maxwell Trail Refresh Updates
- Foothills Natural Areas Management Plan Update 2019
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Plant List for Maxwell Natural Area Volunteers were critical in making the list possible, thank you!