6400 N Wilson Ave.
Loveland, CO 80537
Prairie Ridge Natural Area is located northwest of 57th St. and Wilson Ave. in northwest Loveland. Features include a 36-vehicle parking lot, a 2.4 mile multi-use natural surface trail system for passive recreation and wildlife viewing, 0.8 mile trail connection to Coyote Ridge Natural Area and 35 miles of regional trails, vault restrooms and continuing use as a working farm. To conserve the natural area at Prairie Ridge, dogs and e-bikes are not allowed. View regional trails map and Devil's Backbone Open Space map (PDFs)
Site Rules & Regulations
- No dogs allowed
- No e-bikes allowed
- Open sunrise to sunset
- Parking allowed in designated areas only
- No large vehicle parking (horse trailer parking available one mile north at Coyote Ridge Natural Area)
- Stay on trail to protect our natural resources
- Collecting, removing, destroying or defacing any natural or man-made objects is prohibited
Connect to Coyote Ridge from Prairie Ridge
In the News
May 1: Virtual Grand Opening Welcome & Thank You
iNaturalist - Submit your nature data online!
In 2018, the City developed a management plan for the site to include public access, trails and connections to other regional open space and trails. A concept plan was developed based on opportunities and constraints identified for the site and was presented for public input in 2016. Based on feedback to the concept plan and input from project partners and a technical advisory team, a draft management plan was developed and presented for public review. Comments on the management plan were accepted until April 30, 2018 and considered in the final management plan document.
History of Prairie Ridge
In May 2000, the 785 acre Prairie Ridge Natural Area in northwest Loveland was acquired as part of the 3,500-acre community separator between Loveland and Fort Collins. The property is located northwest of N. Wilson Ave. & 57th St.
Funding was provided by the City of Loveland, City of Fort Collins, Larimer County, and Great Outdoors Colorado. A perpetual conservation easement protecting the property from development is co-held by Larimer County and Colorado Open Lands. The purchase was funded primarily by Loveland’s share of the voter-approved open space sales tax collected throughout Larimer County.
The community separator also includes Loveland’s Sunset Vista Natural Area, Larimer County’s Long View Farm, and Fort Collins’ Coyote Ridge Natural Area.
The eastern 2/3 of the property is farmed for dryland wheat. The western 1/3 of the site includes hogbacks, shale ridges, shortgrass prairie and foothills shrubland, providing habitat for a variety of wildlife such as raptors, songbirds, coyote, red fox, bobcat and mule deer. Tributary wetlands provide important habitat, cover and movement corridors for many species. The property also offers sweeping views of the foothills and plains.
Loveland Parks & Recreation Admin/Maintenance: 970.962.2727
Non-Emergency Larimer County Admin Office: 970.619.4570
After Hours Non-Emergency Larimer County Sheriff Dept: 970.416.1985