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Trails of Northern Colorado Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center
Tour 1: The Foothills Tour 2: The River

The great mid-American prairie ocean covers much of the eastern part of northern Colorado. Although converted heavily to agricultural uses in the last 150 years, the shortgrass prairie can still be found in some large unbroken expanses to the east and north of Fort Collins.

Ecologically, these grasslands represent some of the most endangered habitats both locally and world-wide. Only about 40% of Colorado's shortgrass prairie remains today, and much of that is degraded because of fragmentation from agriculture and our growing towns and cities.

The stops along Tour 3 help paint a picture of both the natural and the human elements of our prairies. At Soapstone Prairie Natural Area you'll find over 28 square miles of nearly pristine grasslands, a conservation jewel that is also home to some of the earliest evidence of human habitation in the area. At the Museo de las Tres Colonias and at Colorado State University, learn more about the story of agriculture on the high plains. And at Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, you can enjoy a small enclave of shortgrass prairie in Fort Collins itself.


Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

Managing Agency
City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program
March 1 to December 1. Some trails closed seasonally for wildlife protection.

Soapstone Prairie offers a remote, backcountry experience. Emergency response can take an hour or more. Be prepared! Start early in the day, plan for the weather and carry a trail map. Bring more than enough water, food and clothing. Cell phone service is not reliable, but there is an emergency call box at the entrance station. This is rattlesnake country so watch where you put your hands and feet and stay on established trails.

Read more about planning your trip.

Pronghorn at Soapstone

Hiking the Anticline Trail

photo by Terry Burton

Museo de las Tres Colonias

425 10th St. Fort Collins
12:30 to 3:00 pm on the third Saturday each month

Designated as a Fort Collins Local Landmark in 2001, the former family home of John and Inez Romero now serves as a regional interpretive center that recognizes the contributions of the Hispanic community in achieving Northern Colorado ’s spectacular growth and development.

For more information, visit the Museo's website at

The Romero House

The Romero House

Photo courtesy of Poudre Landmarks Foundation

Colorado State University

University Welcome Center
Located in Ammon Hall (see map). Academic year hours: 7:45 - 4:45. Summer hours: 7:30 - 4:30
For a campus map, click here
For a map of parking areas, click here

The Welcome Center at Ammon Hall is the university's official front door for visitors. The center offers general information about campus and the Fort Collins community, along with admissions information for prospective students and their families, including daily information sessions and campus tours.

For more information on planning your visit, see the Colorado State University website at

Ammons Hall on the CSU Oval

photo courtesy of Colorado State University

Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area

Managing Agency
City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program
5:00 am - 11:00 pm
The paved Fossil Creek Trail is 2.5 miles one way.
Located at Shields Street (s. of Harmony) and Fromme Prairie Way (from Harmony take Seneca s. to Fromme Prairie Way).

Cathy Fromme Prairie is a rare example of Fort Collins’ pre-settlement shortgrass prairie landscape. Prairie dog colonies here support bald eagles and hawks. Horned lizards, ground-nesting songbirds, butterflies, rabbits, coyotes and rattlesnakes also can be seen. The raptor observatory, built into the hillside near the Shields Street entrance, is an excellent place from which to watch hawks and eagles, especially in winter. Educational activities are offered from May - October.

Fossil Creek Trail

photo by Ryan Burke

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