Fort Collins – Ginny & Powerline Trails Loop at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

Hiking the Ginny & Powerline Trails Loop at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

The Bobcat Ridge Natural Area is located just outside the town of Masonville, but is owned/managed by the City of Fort Collins. The entire park features nature info plaques, which are interesting to come across and read.

The most popular trail in the park is the 3.9 mile Valley Loop Trail, which includes a restored 1917 cabin that you can walk in and look around.

Since I made the trip out there, though, I wanted to see more of the area, and picked a longer hike.

The Hike

I did the Valley Loop Trail – Powerline Trail – Ginny Trail loop. At 8.5 miles with about 1,450 ft elevation gain, it is a moderate hike. This hike goes through several different types of areas and has some great views along the way.

Starting Out

I started my hike at 6 am. There was only one other car in the parking lot and the sun was just coming over the mountains. From around the parking lot area, you can already see the interesting red rocks formations that are a highlight for the area.

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

The AllTrails trail profile had reviews that recommended that visitors do the loop counter-clockwise, so I followed their advice, and I’m glad that I did.

About 0.15 miles in, I turned onto the Valley Loop Trail and continued along it for 0.75 miles. The sun started bathing the meadows with a golden light.

Valley Loop Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Powerline Trail

At mile 0.9, the hike then veered left onto the Powerline Trail. This was the most challenging part of the trail, but it wasn’t too steep. It’s more of a steady climb.

Powerline Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

The powerline after which the trail is named after cuts along the trail at several points. However, it is not obtrusive.

Powerline Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

If you look back along the Powerline Trail, you can see views of the valley below –

Powerline Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Ginny Trail

At mile 2.9 the hike turns onto the Ginny Trail, which is more narrow. This trail features some of the best views on the hike.

Mahoney Park

The rocks in Mahoney Park come from ancient magma. There is an interesting plaque that describes the geological history of the rocks.

Mahoney Park Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

The views in this area of expansive fields with boulders are quite nice.

Mahoney Park Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Panorama of Mahoney Park from above –

Mahoney Park Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Continuing on Ginny Trail

It should be noted that Ginny Trail is quite exposed to the sun. As you continue along, you see the remnants of a forest fire.

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

The trail passes through Roosevelt National Forest lands. There are a several points that have good views of the valley below.

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

My favorite view on the trail, about halfway through the hike, which includes the mountains to the West –

Panorama view Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Closer views of this area –

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Ginny Trail Downhill

The trail downhill is relatively easy, but also exposed.

Along the way you see a variety of scenery.

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Views of the valley from above –

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Lower down the trail –

Ginny Trail Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Fort Collins

Recommended as a Moderate Hike

This 8.5-mile, 1,450 ft-elevation gain moderate hike may be less well-known than other hikes in the Front Range, but it features some lovely and different views from other areas. In particular, the views of the valley, Mahoney Park, and the mountains beyond to the West were great. I’m glad that I tried out this hike and would definitely go back.

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