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The Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center Launches a New Way to Explore Northern Colorado

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The Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center aunches
a New Way to Explore Northern Colorado

Do you know Alfred King, “Colorado’s Pioneer Hop Grower and Plaster King”? How about the story of Annie, the Railroad Dog? Or that Arapaho Chief Friday and his band camped near Fort Collins’ present-day Buckingham Park? These historical tidbits, and many more, are part of a new heritage tourism website developed by the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center.

The “Trails of Northern Colorado” website (, created by the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center, combines cultural and natural history into a Google Maps-based driving tour that covers the area from Devil’s Backbone outside of Loveland to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area to the north. In between are notable sites ranging from the outdoors experience of Bobcat Ridge Natural Area to the urban ambience of Old Town Fort Collins. Together, they paint a picture of a rich regional history that extends back more than 12,000 years.

“The ‘Trails of Northern Colorado’ website offers an exciting way to learn some of the little-known cultural and natural heritage stories of our area,” explains Dr. Brenda Martin, one of the website’s developers. “Area residents, tourists, students, teachers, and researchers will all find the website easy to use, educational, and fun.”

The distinctive natural and cultural stories of our area are highlighted throughout the website, accompanied by numerous historic and contemporary photos. “We were very fortunate to have help from both the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources in developing our stories,” according to website co-developer Terry Burton. “We think people will enjoy seeing how our history and natural environment come together.”

Martin is enthusiastic about the potential of the website to fire people’s imaginations. “Right here in northern Colorado – literally under our feet – there’s an incredibly rich tapestry of stories of peoples and lifeways that extends over 12,000 years into the past,” she says. “These stories connect us to the past, and give us a road map into the future.”

The website was created by the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center as part of a “Preserve America” grant from the U.S. Park Service. The Preserve America program is a federal initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. Fort Collins was designated a “Preserve America” community in 2005.

For more information about the “Trails of Northern Colorado” website, or the Preserve America Program, please call (970) 221-6738.

The Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center is located at 200 Mathews Street, Fort Collins. For more information, please call the Museum at 970-221-6738 or visit the website: .