Pelican Marsh Natural Area surrounds Robert Benson Reservoir and extends to the corner of Lemay and Carpenter Road. Pelican Marsh is a popular place for its namesake, American white pelicans, to fish and rest. Views of the mountains are impressive from this natural area.
Visitors will experience a shortgrass prairie, a reservoir with associated wetlands and wide open views. There are several old cottonwood tree stumps which were placed there as a habitat improvement for small mammals.
There is no access to or fishing in Robert Benson Reservoir as its very shallow and provides important habitat for water birds and shorebirds. Stay on the trail and use the wildlife viewing area to enjoy this peaceful setting.
White Pelican: US Fish and Wildlife Service
There is about 1 mile of flat trail including a paved trail connecting Water's Way Park to Carpenter Road, a gravel trail along Carpenter Road and a paved trail from Water's Way Park to a wildlife viewing area of Robert Benson Reservoir. Pelican Marsh Trail Map >>>
Pelican Marsh is east of College Avenue between Trilby and Carpenter roads. To reach it from south Lemay, turn west onto Province Road and continue until Water's Way Park (700 Fairborne Way). There is no parking lot, on street parking is available on Eden Ridge Court or Bellewood Lane.
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 ion this page.
- Check out the Natural Areas Learning Library for some great self-guided activities.
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- Pelican Marsh Trail Map
- 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!
- Fossil Creek Natural Areas Management Plan 2017, pdf
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Plant List for Pelican Marsh Natural Area Volunteers were critical in making the list possible, thank you!