It is the first week of February and 60 degrees outside. The sky is blue and there is not a cloud in the sky. Days like today are why so many people have picked Colorado to be their home. Many are blessed to live in Northern Colorado.
I started off my day, working at my desk, doing my paper work, and daily calls. When I sat down to work, I promised myself that at 1:00pm I would stop working and head out to enjoy the day. As the clock struck 1:00pm, the door was closing behind me and I was off… Coyote Ridge here I come.
Our home is in Windsor and within 12 minutes, I was parking at the trail head parking lot. Coyote Ridge Natural Area sits in between Fort Collins, Loveland, and west of Windsor. The trail begins in the flat Prairie and winds up into the Front Range Foothills.
The trail is quite easy, especially at the beginning. Approximately, 1 mile into the hike there is a small cabin. The cabin is an educational building supported by the Fort Collins Parks. Inside the cabin there are learning activities and information about our environment. This is a great spot to take the kids for an outdoor learning experience. It is also the perfect spot to take a short rest before heading up the trail to the ridge.
As the trail raps up the foothills, the path becomes steeper, but overall the hike is quite easy to moderate. From the parking lot to the ridge top is about a 2 mile hike. Standing at the top of the ridge, known as, “Hogback” there are 360 degree, panoramic views.
Round trip, the hike is 4 miles, however, this trail system links into other trails along the Front Range. Therefore, it is possible to add multiple miles onto your hike. The longer trail options make this a very popular mountain biking destination. Hikers and Mountain Bikers share the same trail systems.
The other trail systems that connect together are, The Devils Backbone, The Rim Rock Open Space, and The Horsetooth Mountain Area. All of these trail systems added together are extensive and allow for multiple miles of fun.
I am so happy that I was able to get out and enjoy this area today. My hope is that you will too.
FYI-for a winter hike this is a great spot because the trail is super sunny. However, in the summer this trail system is best enjoyed early in the day since there is little to no shade. Dogs are not allowed on this trail system. Some of your trails are dog friendly and some are not so check on the internet before leaving your home if you would like your furry friend to go with you.