By Sandy Barnes
While its name may be Coyote Ridge, those who venture to the vast natural area a few miles north of Loveland will most likely see other wildlife, including prairie dogs and mule deer in the wintertime.
The 1,000-acre open space offers hikers, cyclists and horseback riders a wonderful opportunity to enjoy sweeping vistas in a transitional area between prairie and the mountains.
Whether on foot, bicycle or horseback, visitors can see prairie dogs scampering along flat grasslands, and maybe an occasional cottontail rabbit as they travel through the area. The two-mile winding trail ascends ridges to a spectacular 360-degree view dominated by sky. Along the way are interpretive signs describing the area’s wildlife and its geological history as the site of an ancient ocean.
One mile from the trailhead is a cabin located next to restrooms, a bike rack and hitching posts for horses.
Part of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program, Coyote Ridge is home to bears, mountain lions as well as its elusive namesake creatures. Like most wild areas in Colorado, the area also has its share of rattlesnakes, especially with such plentiful food sources running and hopping around.
Just a short drive from Berthoud, Coyote Ridge can be reached by traveling north on County Road 17, which becomes Taft Avenue, and turning left on Eisenhower Avenue in Loveland. Continue on Eisenhower to the intersection of Wilson Avenue, turn right, and travel approximately five miles to the Coyote Ridge Natural Area, which will be on the left.
No dogs are permitted at Coyote Ridge, so it’s best to leave Fido at home when visiting the area. For more information, call (970) 416-2480.
<p class=”MsoNormal”>A biker heads down the trail at Coyote Ridge Natural Area a few miles north of Loveland.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>An interpretive sign describes the wildlife that may be seen in the area.</p>