Bobcat Ridge Loop | Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Masonville, CO | 12/01/18 | 9.42 miles | 1,612′ gain
Okay, I’m a little late posting this (like 12 days late) but better late than never to share a neat park I found. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is near Masonville, CO (near Loveland and Fort Collins). It’s surprisingly large for being a city natural area, with over 15 miles of trails and 2,600 acres of land.
I’m always excited to try new trails, especially when they’re in a new area, and the Loveland/Fort Collins area is one I haven’t hiked much in (even though I’ve lived near there for years)! I found a few trails on AllTrails at Bobcat Ridge that I figured I’d string together to make a decent half day hike. I had originally planned on doing the outermost loop of the park, but as I should have known, the mileage on AllTrails was WAY off and my feet just couldn’t comfortably carry me that far (~12 miles instead of ~10), so I ended up modifying my route last minute to do a smaller loop (more on that later!).
I pulled into the trailhead around 8:30am on a Saturday, and I assumed I’d get one of the last spots since I was starting so late, but there were only 3 other cars in the lot when I arrived. I love having room to breathe and take my time to enjoy nature, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d be hiking alone most of the day.
The trail started off pretty gradual, wide, and easy to follow. There were a few trail intersections, but each are labeled with trail names and distances, so the park is very easy to navigate. I followed signs to the Ginny Trail, as that was my main goal for the day. The Ginny Trail heads to the top of Green Ridge and traverses across, with views on both sides.
Interestingly enough, though the park is called Bobcat Ridge, neither the main ridge (Green Ridge) nor the hogback (unnamed) are called Bobcat Ridge.
In 2000, a campfire in Bobcat Gulch ignited dry grasses, causing a 10,600 acre fire that swept through most of the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. I wasn’t sure which gulch was Bobcat Gulch as there were numerous gulches along the trail, but it turns out Bobcat Gulch is a few miles away!
The valley to the east of Green Ridge is also called a glade, and is officially called Green Ridge Glade.
As soon as you reach the top of the ridge, you have views in all directions.
The Ginny trail traverses across much of Green Ridge and eventually drops down into Mahoney Park Nature Bowl and the trail intersection with the D.R. Trail and Powerline Trail.
After reaching the trail intersection, I made a decision to take the Powerline Trail instead of the D.R. Trail. I had wanted to do the larger loop, but since the AllTrails mileages were off, I wasn’t feeling up to doing a 12 mile day. So I cut my hike short. I wasn’t thrilled to have to do this, but being comfortable is important and the Powerline Trail was actually prettier than I expected a 2-track powerline access road to be.
The following pictures are a few quick shots from Green Ridge Glade.
The bottom of the Powerline Trail intersects with the Valley Loop Trail and I followed that back to the trailhead. My loop ended up being just under 10 miles, but this could be adjusted to nearly any length depending on your ability. This is a very family-friendly park, with many interpretive signs talking about the wildlife and history of the area. There is also a historic cabin on-site. Anyone can find something fun to do at Bobcat Ridge, whether it be a short walk, a long hike, or a family picnic.