Pineridge Natural Area | Colorado | Fall 2020


Pineridge Natural Area | Fort Collins Natural Areas

Fort Collins, CO | 09/27/20 | 6.97 miles | 525′ gain


Pineridge_NA

Pineridge Natural Area is a small open space just outside Fort Collins. I visited twice in the Fall of 2020 to walk/hike. It’s not terribly scenic but it’s a great spot for locals to exercise or walk dogs. My first visit was in late September. I meandered around the main trails, creating a loop. From the main parking area, I first hiked north on the Reservoir Loop around Dixon Reservoir.

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Rabbitbrush in front of Dixon Reservoir
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The parking lot is on a hill so I first had to hike down to the water’s edge. I then wrapped around Dixon Reservoir on a wide and flat trail.

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Otis on the Reservoir Loop

Once past the reservoir, I followed the Valley and Ridge Trails, which intersected at various points along a short limestone ridge. The ends of the Ridge Trail are blocked off to prevent disturbance of a rare plant species called Bell’s twinpod.

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Rabbitbrush

I hiked south on the Valley Trail and around the South Loop Trail. This connected with the Timber Trail which runs along the west side of the valley next to the forest.

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Otis on the Timber Trail
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We didn’t end up finishing the last few short trails but 7 miles was plenty for today.


Pineridge Natural Area | Fort Collins Natural Areas

Fort Collins, CO | 11/03/20 | 3.26 miles | 365′ gain


Pineridge_NA2

A month later, I returned to hike a few more short trails in Pineridge Natural Area. We first hiked the short Duncan’s Ridge Trail (0.37 mi, 87′). This isn’t technically within Pineridge but is on the way. It climbs up to a viewpoint overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir. A number of people were hiking up to hang out and enjoy the views. This is a popular area for rock climbers as well.

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Otis on Duncan’s Ridge

From there, we drove into Pineridge Natural Area and parked at a small lot to hike the Viewpoint Spur. This is another short trail (0.69 mi, 176′) that overlooks Dixon Reservoir. The trail was overgrown and doesn’t seem to get much use.

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Viewpoint Spur overlook

To finish up our walk, we parked at the main parking area and walked around Dixon Reservoir on the Reservoir Loop and Foothills Trails (2.2 mi, 102′). We ran into one of our old foster dogs (Zoey, now Piper) on the loop and chatted for a few minutes. Zoey stayed with us for about 4 weeks with her 3 puppies. They were a fun group and I loved getting to see her!


Chelsea


5 thoughts on “Pineridge Natural Area | Colorado | Fall 2020

  1. I always find even small open spaces refreshing. It’s nice to be able to get away from the crowds in a relatively short time, and enjoy a little solitude.
    I really like your photo of the big yellow rabbitbrush in front of that cloudy sky.

    Liked by 1 person

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