Loveland’s Old St. Louis Natural Area reopens – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Residents can enjoy additional access to the Big Thompson River, better views of a heron colony, and an extended trail loop with the completion of a project in Old. Saint-Louis Natural Area.

According to a city press release, the City of Loveland reopened the property this week following “significant” stormwater infrastructure projects, as well as a reconstructed and extended trail loop in the natural area. from the riverside.

Courtesy of the Town of Loveland

This map, provided by the City of Loveland, shows trails in Old St. Louis Natural Area and Boise Bend Natural Area, as well as access to walking trails off South Madison Avenue. The Old St. Louis Natural Area reopened this week after the completion of a stormwater management project.

It had been closed since October for the stormwater system upgrade and home improvement project.

The project included more than double the half-mile of trail that was in place on the property with a new crossing over the wetland portion and trail loop, as well as nature play structures and new benches.

“These new trails provide access for nature exploration, river access and wildlife viewing, including views of a nearby heron colony and an osprey. fisherman next door, “the press release read.

Although most of the trail is a soft surface, there is a small piece of paved trail from St. Louis Avenues in Boise that will initiate a plan to ultimately create a paved trail from the town’s existing recreation loop on along the river east to Interstate 25, city officials said.

Loveland and Johnstown paid for an underpass under Interstate 25 at the Big Thompson River Bridge, built in conjunction with current construction work from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Marilyn Hilgenberg, the city’s trails and open lands manager, said Loveland and Johnstown would each work on a paved trail on their side of the highway.

“It’s envisioned in the five to ten year plan,” Hilgenberg said. “As there are opportunities available, we will continue to divide them. … We’ll do this side, and they’ll do west of there.

Work in the Old St. Louis Natural Area also improved water quality and access to the Big Thompson River.

“This property had minimal access and was quite steep,” said Hilgenberg. “Now we have an additional quarter-mile northward waterway access.”

Work on the trail was carried out alongside stormwater upgrades that were built to both modernize aging infrastructure and improve stormwater discharge into the Big Thompson River, according to city information. The local contractor, Territorial Unlimited, has completed the work.

The natural area is accessed from a small trail off South St. Louis Avenue, and there is a walk-in access point on Madison Avenue. More information is available at

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