Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Accessible Bellvue - LaPorte - Larimer County
Aliases: Watson Lake
Ownership: Multiple
Description: This pair of small towns at the base of the foothills features rich farmland, the Cache La Poudre River, Watson Lake and massive cliffs. Pastures here attract nesting Bobolinks most years and occasionally Grasshopper Sparrow, Lark Bunting and Eastern Meadowlark. Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Canyon and Rock Wrens, White-throated Swift and Violet-green Swallow nest in the cliffs by Watson Lake. The lake features a Bank Swallow colony and waterfowl in migration. The river's riparian corridor (mostly private) hosts nesting Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, Eastern Screech-Owl, Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, and American Dipper. A paved bike trail accesses the river at LaPorte's Lions Park and Cache La Poudre Middle School, and at Watson Lake S.W.A. in Bellvue. Foothills hiking trails are available at Reservoir Ridge Natural Area (managed by the City of Fort Collins), located between LaPorte and Horsetooth Reservoir to the south.

Habitat: Foothills, Meadow, Cliff Face, River, Pond/Lake/Reservoir
Elevation: 5100 feet ASL
Directions: From Fort Collins, north 4 miles on US 287 and continue west on CR 54G through LaPorte to Rist Canyon Road (3 miles). Left on Rist Canyon Road 1 mile to Bellvue.
Restrictions/Hazards: Flood zone
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions: Bellevue-Watson State Fish Hatchery; Butterfly Woods Natural Area; Claymore Lake
Website:






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