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Bobcat Ridge near Fort Collins set to reopen following damage from 2020 Cameron Peak Fire

Bridge repair at Bobcat Ridge_Fort Collins Natural Areas Department
Posted at 7:01 AM, Sep 09, 2021

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — The popular Bobcat Ridge Natural Area southwest of Fort Collins will reopen Sept. 18.

Bobcat Ridge has stayed closed since the Cameron Peak Fire moved through and burned about 80% of the area on Oct. 17, 2020. The wildfire burned grassland, shrub, and forest habitat, and damaged bridges, trails, and parts of historic buildings.

Cameron Peak Fire on Bobcat Ridge

Since the fire was extinguished, the Natural Areas Department and community volunteers have worked to restore and repair Bobcat Ridge, which included removing burned trees and rebuilding bridges and boardwalks. In addition, Valley Loop trails had to be reconstructed after floods washed them out, according to the City of Fort Collins' Natural Areas Department.

To help with the recovery process and help with new vegetation growth, all visitors are required to stay on the trail and dogs are not allowed.

Ecological restoration efforts will continue for the next several years, the Natural Areas Department said. It will continue to restore native grassland, remove invasive plants, and reseed with native species.

Bobcat Ridge, which has about 16 miles of trail, will officially reopen at dawn on Sept. 18 and staff expect a high visitation rate. Click here to check parking availability via webcam. Click here for a trail map.

The Pulliam Charitable Trust helped this process by providing grant funding to rebuild infrastructure and restore native grasslands.