Riverbend Ponds offers a lot of diversity with a stretch of the Poudre River, several ponds and wetlands. There are seven former gravel mine ponds to choose from so it is a popular fishing site. The Colorado Division of Wildlife stocks the ponds with warm-water species (usually largemouth bass, crappie and channel catfish). More fishing details are listed here.Birders also enjoy Riverbend Ponds- over 200 species of birds feed, rest, nest, and migrate through including green herons, a wide variety of ducks, American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants and others. Riverbend Ponds flat trails with loop options and varied habitat appeal to many hikers and dog-walkers.
Blue Heron Launch, Riverbend Ponds, Theo Bauder
Reflection, Jim Waite
Blue Dragonfly, Riverbend Ponds, Sarah Hamilton
Autumn Morning, Riverbend Ponds, Bob Willis
Riverbend Ponds, Karl Manderbach
About three miles of natural surface trails and a boardwalk from the Cherly St. entrance. A paved trail underpass under Prospect Road connects to recreational opportunities on the south side of Prospect: Cottonwood Hollow and Running Deer natural areas and CSUs Environmental Learning Center. Trail Map >>>
Parking lots on Cherly Street (off Summitview, 2909 Cherly St), Prospect Street (between Sharp Point and Summitview, 2856 East Prospect), and Cairnes Street (off Timberline, 705 Cairnes Drive). There is usually room for a horse trailer to park at the Prospect Street parking lot, but a spot is not designated.
Riverbend Ponds can also be accessed from the underpass under Prospect Rd/ Running Deer Natural Area.
Riverbend Ponds Natural Area has no entrance fee or parking fee.
Activities and Events#
- Find free educational activities and events year-round on the Events Calendar. Activities and events in June-October are also listed in the Natural Areas Explorer.
- Learn about special events and activities each month by subscribing to the Natural Areas e-newsletter.
- Check out the Natural Areas Learning Library for self-guided activities.
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- 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!
- Poudre River Management Plan
- What to See at Riverbend Ponds brochure
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- River Bend Ponds Natural Area is an Important Bird Area, learn more here.