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Fort Collins Natural Areas is in the process of updating their Foothills area management plan for the next 10 years. There are 3 ways for you to voice your opinion on how they should proceed. Those options include attending one of the open houses they’re hosting on April 16th and April 30th at the Northside Atlzan Center from 4-6pm or by taking the virtual tour (link below).  The open house on the 30th is specific to the cycling community.

A few of the things being considered are; alternating the days in which mountain bikers have access to Maxwell (very bad), turning Maxwell into a hiker only gravel path  (very bad) and adding a new trail that separates mountain bikers from hikers (good). Your voice matters in these decisions. 


Please note: If you plan on attending the open house and racing the Horsetooth Time Trial tonight, please let me know and I’ll give you a startime close to 6pm. Show me a selfie of you at the open house and I’ll refund your entry fee. HTTT info: https://tinyurl.com/yxdtdc4a

Please note: The open house on the 30th coincides with the first New Belgium Short-track race of the season. These two events take place within a few blocks of each other so attending both is very possible and encouraged. 


If you can’t attend either meeting in person, you can go to the virtual open house. This is also a great way to learn what Natural Areas has in mind for their management plan but please attend one of the open houses in person if at all possible. https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4950810/Foothills-Open-House


Open house info

Learn more at https://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/foothills-plan

The Foothills Natural Areas Management Plan applies to Coyote Ridge, Pineridge, Maxwell, and Reservoir Ridge natural areas and the Foothills Trail. Work on the plan includes setting goals and strategies for promoting ecological integrity, protecting natural and cultural resources, and connecting people to nature. The process for developing the Foothills Plan also includes analyzing the existing management plan, evaluating visitor amenities (including trails) and facilitating a public engagement process. Everyone is invited to this Open House where you can learn about what makes the foothills natural areas special, and share your thoughts on goals and strategies to promote ecological integrity, protect natural and cultural resources, and connect people to nature. Cyclists may participate as well. The same information and staff will be at the Open House on April 16 and at the virtual open house at fcgov.com/foothills. Stop by anytime to chat with planners and enjoy a snack. Kids-activities provided, translation available upon request. 


Overland Mountain Bike Association’s Vision

The Overland Mountain Bike Association is our local IMBA chapter. They work tirelessly to improve existing trails, add new trails and to protect our access to existing trails. Here is their vision for the Foot Hills Area. 


What OMBA Supports

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QfykuL-pb3nq41u6QLIBPVVT44EoTib9/view?usp=sharing

  • Improving connectivity between urban areas/paved trail systems and existing natural-surface trails will better disperse users and reduce congestion at trailhead parking areas and on our trails.
  • Expanding our trail systems with new loop options for all ability levels and creating more access points will provide a higher-quality experience and help disperse users
  • Well-connected trails will provide more outdoor recreation opportunities for youth and non-driving individuals.

Well-designed trails encourage users to “stay the trail” and lessen impacts to our natural resources

Key Points

  • Funneling more users onto a single trail will do little to address the underlying problem…current trail supply is not meeting current demand
  • Quality singletrack trails are viewed by many as essential to a high-quality recreation & nature
  • experience and as an essential piece to living in Fort Collins
  • Gravel roads do not provide the desired “natural” experience for the majority of Natural Areas trail users

OMBA’s Vision Plan for Trails

  • Create a second Maxwell area trail accessing the Rotary Park area to help separate and disperse users

o Option 1 – a pedestrian-only trail & a bike-only trail (separates by use)

o Option 2 – a descending bike-only trail & a multi-use trail open only to uphill bikes (separates

by speed of travel)

o Option 3 – a second multi-use trail with one being more beginner/family-friendly and one

being more challenging (separates by ability)

  • Develop the Coyote Ridge to Cathy Fromme singletrack connector trail as proposed by OMBA
  • Develop a lower paralleling singletrack trail option to the existing Foothills Trail to connect lower Maxwell and lower Reservoir Ridge that is more beginner/family-friendly
  • Develop an upper intermediate-level trail in Pineridge to help disperse users & link to south end of Horsetooth Reservoir, one that is directional for bikes from north to south only
  • Develop a new singletrack trail connecting Coyote Ridge with the Long View Trail