Just shy of a year ago, the Cameron Peak Fire blazed through Colorado, destroying more than 200,000 acres of land in its path.

Part of that destruction included scorching nearly eighty percent of Loveland's Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, which forced the popular outdoor destination to have to close to visitors since last October. Not only did the wildfire burn grassland, shrubs, and forest habitat at Bobcat Ridge, but it also significantly damaged infrastructure including bridges, trails, and small portions of historic buildings on site as well.

City of Fort Collins
City of Fort Collins

In May and June of 2021, several flash floods occurred inside the natural area, which caused even more damage, and completely washed out some of the trails altogether.

However, thanks to the hard work of crews and community volunteers, Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is finally set to reopen to the public at dawn on Saturday, September 18.

Throughout the last year, the team diligently worked to reconstruct bridges and boardwalks, remove burned trees, and assist with trail maintenance. In addition, several of the visitor amenities were improved, including a new vehicle exit road, a new equestrian ramp, and the creation of more parking spots. The Natural Areas Department will continue to monitor the outdoor space over the next few years, and aims to keep improving the habitat for native wildlife and pollinators as best possible. In 2022, crews will start working on restoring the remaining 400 acres of the valley.

According to the City, all of the trails will be open when the park allows reentry in a few weeks, but visitors must stay on these paths so that vegetation can successfully recover. As a reminder, no dogs are allowed at Bobcat Ridge. Because high visitation is expected, guests are encouraged to check parking availability on the webcam at fcgov.com/naturalareas/status.

2020 Cameron Peak Fire

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