The Lakota people valued the fox for its cunning, adaptability and vibrant red coat. Red Fox Meadows Natural Area in Fort Collins celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020.
The Ogallala that once roamed the Front Range of Colorado called it tokalu, in English, red fox. In 1995 the 40-acre urban wildlife refuge was created with four goals by the Fort Collins City Council.
Providing recreational and educational opportunities, enhancing wildlife habitat, preventing storm water pollution created during flash floods and improving the water quality while preventing floods were the primary targets. The program was a tremendous success. Red Fox Meadows is a popular place to visit year-round and a haven from the bustle of the city growing rapidly nearby.
It is a popular walking and biking area and a respite for local residents. Red Fox Natural Area is also used by local schools for studying wildlife, local ecology and how storm water runoff and chemicals can adversely affect the environment.
Hiking – There are interpretive signs, educational stations, and kiosks with information about the area along the mile-long walking path, which winds through and around the area.
The walking path is considered a trail, but it has little elevation change, is carefully groomed and an easy hike for just about any age group. The trail is connected to neighborhood access points that surround the area.
Wildlife – It is home to at least 80 different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles and at last count the home of 126 diverse plant species. Even the construction of the natural area was timed to not disturb nesting birds or the dens of animals such as the red fox that the area’s name bears.
The natural area was planted with a carefully researched mix of native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees, all native to the area.
Red Fox Meadows is open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. A parking lot south of the Prospect Road and Taft Hill Road intersection at 1809 Longworth Drive is the best access point for non-residents of the area.
Address: 1810 S Taft Hill Rd, Fort Collins, CO 80526
Season: Year round