Riverbend Ponds Natural Area – Dog Hiking
3.0 miles Soft Surface Trail
Riverbend Ponds offer a lot of diversity including a stretch of the Poudre River and seven former gravel mine ponds. The colorado Division of Wildlife stocks the ponds with warm-water species (usually crappie, largemouth bass and channel catfish) and is a popular spot for anglers.
Birders also enjoy Riverbend Ponds – over 200 species of birds feed, rest, nest and migrate through, including green herons, a wide variety of ducks, American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants and others.
Riverbend Ponds’ flat trails with loop options and varied habitat appeal to many hikers and dog-walkers. Check out the self-guided interpretive trail too!
The boundaries of Riverbend Ponds Natuaral Area slightly changed as directed in the 2011 update to the Cache La Poudre River Natural Areas Management Plan. The portions of Riverbend Ponds West of Timberline Road and Southwest of the Poudre River have been incorporated in Kingfisher Point and Cattail Chorus natural areas, respectively. There is little noticeable change for visitors.
There is about 3 miles of natural surface trails and a boardwalk from the Cherly St. entrance. A paved trail underpass under Prospect Road connects to recreational opportunities on the south side of Prospect: Cottonwood Hollow and Running Deer natural areas and CSU’s Environmental Learning Center.
The ponds and wetlands lend a very peaceful and calming atmosphere to this natural habitat. Your dog will enjoy all the changing sights, sounds and smells along the various loops. As always, be sure to bring plenty of fresh water and food for you and your dog.
There are no use fees for this area. Restoration of native plants in areas formerly dominated by weedy non-natives, is going well. You and your dog can help restoration efforts by staying on established trails and packing out whatever you bring in. People walking their dogs are asked not to bury their dog’s waste
Parking lots are located on Cherly Street (off Summitview), Prospect Street, and Cairnes Street (off Timberline). This area can also be accessed from the underpass under Prospect Road/ Running Deer Natural Area.