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The Fossil Creek Trail offers over 8 miles of paved pathway (in two disconnected segments) on the south side of Fort Collins, a college town at the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The western segment begins in Spring Canyon Community Park, a nice place to picnic amongst wild flowers and cottonwood trees. It also offers a 2-acre dog park and Inspiration Playground, a state-of-the-art play area that was designed to be handicap accessible and includes sensory-rich structures for visually-impaired and hearing-impaired children.
From there, the trail travels southeast for about 3 miles to S. Shields Street. Mid-way, a short spur will take you up to Fromme Prairie Way to access the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, a mixture of wetland and grassland habitat for native plants and animals. Keep a lookout for prairie dogs, raptors, horned lizards, rabbits, coyotes and snakes.
The eastern half of the trail runs about 2 miles between S. College Avenue (US 287) and Fossil Creek Park. On your way through the park, you'll travel along the serene and scenic Portner Reservoir. The northern end of the park is busier with its many recreational amenities, including ballfields, tennis and basketball courts, a roller-hockey rink, a skateboarding area and a playground with a prehistoric theme.
On the western side of S. College Avenue, you can catch the Mason Trail to head north to the doorstep of Colorado State University. In Spring Canyon Community Park, you can also connect to the Spring Creek Trail to go east across the city.
A disconnected segment of trail extends between Lemay Avenue and Carpenter Road.
Parking can be found in Spring Canyon Community Park (2626 W. Horsetooth Road), Fossil Creek Park (5821 S. Lemay Avenue) and the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area (on Fromme Prairie Way).
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