Bobcat Ridge reopens to bring back popular hiking and sightseeing
With the support of the community of Fort Collins and the Pulliam Charitable Trust, the popular Bobcat Ridge Nature Area has been reopened. High attendance is expected, so visitors are encouraged to check parking availability on the webcam at fcgov.com/naturalareas/status.
On October 17, 2020, the Cameron Peak fire burned 80% of the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. The wildfire burned grasslands, shrubs and forest habitats, while damaging infrastructure such as bridges, pathways and small parts of historic buildings. Bobcat Ridge has been closed since the fire.
Since the Cameron Peak fire, the Department of Natural Areas and community volunteers have worked hard to restore and repair Bobcat Ridge. Burnt trees adjacent to the trails were removed, bridges and boardwalks were rebuilt, the valley loop trails were rebuilt after being washed away by several flash floods, and all trails were subject to reclamation. ‘routine maintenance. Several amenities for visitors have been improved, including the addition of parking spaces, a new vehicle exit route before the horse trailer parking area, and a new equestrian ramp near the historic cabin.
To facilitate the recovery process, the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area will be a natural trail area with no dogs. This will both protect visitors and allow vegetation to re-establish itself.
Ecological restoration has started and will continue over the next few years. The Department of Natural Areas monitors and manages the burnt area by restoring native grasslands, removing invasive plants, and reseeding with native species to improve habitat for native wildlife and pollinators.
The Cameron Peak fire also burned down at a former landfill site. The landfill (located in an area closed to the public) will be cleaned up in accordance with a notice of compliance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Complete mechanical removal of the undocumented landfill will take approximately six weeks and restoration of the area will follow.
The Department of Natural Areas especially thanks the Pulliam Charitable Trust for providing grants and the community for supporting natural areas!
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