44. Cathy Fromme Prairie

I tried to make the most today’s gloomy weather by watching the storm roll out of the mountains and across Cathy Fromme Prairie. Named for the late Cathy Potter Fromme who served on the Fort Collins city council, this 240 acre natural area  is about a mile south of Harmony and spans the distance between Taft Hill and Shields. Seemingly endless rolling grasslands and awesome mountain views is what Cathy Fromme Prairie is all about. 6.4 miles of wide, paved trails will take you through this beautiful shortgrass prairie where you can see what Fort Collins looked like before development. They say plains grizzlies, pronghorn, bison, wolves and mountain lions used to roam here. Today you’ll see mostly prairie dogs, coyotes, deer and maybe a rattlesnake. This is also one of the best areas in town to see raptors. Golden eagles, bald eagles and all kinds of hawks come here to hunt prairie dogs so remember your binoculars. There’s even a raptor observation center which is basically a grass roof concrete bunker that serves as blind to increase your chances of an up close view of a these birds and also has information for identifying raptors in flight. It’s located at the southeast corner of the prairie near the Shields st access

You’ll also see over 160 species of plants inluding a myriad of wildflowers and cactus. Prickly Pear cactus will start blooming at the beginning of June and are quite a sight. If you’ve been feeling clausterphobic in your cubicle, this is a great place to get a healthy dose of wide open space without leaving town.
 

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