Archives For birding

Several weeks ago, Ryan and spent a weekend in Grand Junction. This was a true adventure because we’d never been to Grand Junction before. We’d driven through, but never stopped to smell the roses, or rather, the perfume of wine.

Colorado National Monument March 2013 HeidiTown

I’m going to highlight our foodie and wine adventures in Grand Junction in another post, but here I want to concentrate on our morning at the Colorado National Monument. First, like many of you, we thought the Colorado National Monument was an actual monument, and we were a bit startled and overjoyed to discover that it is a gigantic park with rock formations that rival those we’ve seen just across the border in Utah.

CO National Monument jutting rock March 2013 HeidiTown

We entered the park via the Fruita entrance on the recommendation of several people, including our helpful hotel shuttle driver from The Clarion in Grand Junction. Even before we entered the park, we spotted a beautiful bird hanging out in a dead tree. The lighting was such that we couldn’t identify the bird, but we treated the sighting as an omen of good things to come – and it was.

Entering the park through the Fruita entrance is an excellent choice because you are immediately surrounded by spectacular views and huge rock formations that rise unexpectedly from the ground. At first, we were stopping at every overlook to snap pictures and take in the incredible view of the mesas.

The view from the Mesa at Colorado National Monument March 2013 HeidiTown

By the time we reached the visitor center we were in a cheerful mood. This place wasn’t a tourist trap with some old boring monument – this place was a gem and we felt as though we had just discovered it. Of course, we weren’t the first to discover it, and the people of the Western Slope are well aware of their treasure.

In fact, there’s a movement afoot to give the park National Park status, but there’s also a group opposed to such a move. They don’t want the crowds that come with having a National Park in your backyard, but I think that the Colorado National Monument shouldn’t be a secret. I think it should receive National Park status and be added to our state’s impressive repertoire of national parks.

Inside the visitor center we were greeted by two young female rangers who quickly pulled out photos of the park’s most recent addition; two baby big horn sheep. We knew there were bighorn sheep in the region, but we had no idea that we had come during lambing season, running February through April.

For those who do not know me, I’m a huge freak when it comes to baby animals. Puppies, ducklings, kittens, kits, calves, foals, eaglets, chicks, goslings… if it’s a baby animal of any sort, I’m a fan. So when we found out about the baby bighorn sheep we were determined to find them.

Dead tree CO National Monument March 2013 HeidiTown

We struck out on a hike with a purpose – my favorite kind of hike. We started from the visitor center down a small and easy trail with enormous views and then veered through the campground. The rangers had given us some useful tips on finding the bighorn sheep.

They like to hang out on the outcroppings above the roads around the park and one way you can tell that they’ve been in a certain location are rocks on the road. They scatter the rocks as they scramble up the mountain. You can often hear the bighorns kicking around rocks before you actually spot them.

The rangers told us we might find them on a rock outcropping we’d driven under earlier, so we backtracked, by foot. Peering through binoculars towards the specific location, at first Ryan saw nothing, but then JACK POT! We had found them. Two bighorn sheep lambs and their mothers, right where the park rangers said they might be.

They were still pretty far away from us, and couldn’t be seen without binoculars, but there they were and we marked the hike a grand success. We snapped some pictures, hoping we could zoom in later to find the little guys.

baby big horn sheep at Colorado National Monument March 2013 HeidiTown

They are really difficult to see, but there are two baby bighorn sheep in the middle of this photo.

Back at the visitors center we were accosted by a juniper titmouse. The bird spotted us walking through the parking lot and fluttered over to land on a tree limb directly in front of my face – I could have reached out and touched him. When we told the park ranger of this encounter she said it’s not because people feed them, it’s because the juniper titmouse is a friendly little bird with a big attitude.

juniper titmouse at CO National Monument March 2013 HeidiTown

We managed to get a photo of this Juniper Titmouse before he flew off looking for some other park visitor to chat with.

The rest of our drive through the park was uneventful. The scenery was still breathtaking but to my disappointment we had no more wildlife encounters. I was hoping to spot a male bighorn walking on the road, as they tend to do quite often.

The Colorado National Monument is a treasure and should not to be missed when visiting the Grand Junction area. Within 15 minutes of Grand Junction, it makes for an easy morning excursion, or you can make it a longer adventure by hiking, rock climbing or camping in the park. 

Learn more about the Colorado National Monument HERE.  Check out everything Grand Junction has to offer by going to VisitGrandJunction.com and following them on Facebook and Twitter.

Balancing Rock at CO National Monument March 2013 HeidiTownTips for visiting the Colorado National Monument:

1. Stop at the Visitor Center to see what animals have been spotted in the park recently.

2. Bring a good camera, not just your phone. This place deserves high resolution photos.

3. Bring a water bottle. The park will no longer be selling water. To reduce waste they are installing a water bottle refilling station at the visitor center.

4. Bring binoculars.

5. Pack a light coat. It can be a bit chilly atop the mesas on a spring day.

This trip sponsored by Visit Grand Junction.

KRFC birthday bash

The following is my weekly segment on KRFC 88.9 FM. If you prefer, you can listen to the audio HERE, or read through the following transcript of the show.  Enjoy!

FYI: I am giving away tickets to the KRFC Birthday Bash on this Thursday, March 8, so please tune back into the blog on Thursday to enter!

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Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel in Colorado.

It’s already the second weekend in March and that means St. Patrick’s Day is almost here!  I love the holiday and this year it’s landing on a Saturday. There are parades all over the state on Saturday, March 17, including the granddaddy of them all, the 50th Denver St. 

Patrick’s Day Parade in Lower Downtown. There are also parades in Colorado Springs, Greeley, and of course, right here in Fort Collins.

New this year in Fort Collins, after the parade, stay downtown and enjoy and Irish Party with live music and green beer in Old Town Square. More at DowntownFortCollins.com.

Now, back to this weekend, March 9 through the 11th 2011.

First and foremost, this Saturday it’s the 9th Annual KRFC Birthday Bash and this year it’s going to be grand. The party is being held at Lincoln Center and is a fundraiser for KRFC, Fort Collin’s very own public radio. The live music showcase will include Ben Taylor, John Common and the Blinding Flashes of Light, Fierce Bad Rabbit, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Jaden Carlson and Martin Gilmore. Come out and support public radio and have a great time as well.

Strong Ale FestFor beer lovers this Friday and Saturday, Avery Brewing Company in Boulder Presents the 10th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Fest. The event celebrates craft beers from all over the country that are above 8 percent ABV. For more information go to AveryBrewing.com.

If you are a craft beer fan, and many, many of you are, you can spend nearly every weekend attending a beer event, and I can’t cover them all, but I’ve discovered a guy who does.  There’s a beer blogger in Greeley who puts out a list of all beer related events each and every week. Impressive, right? So check his blog out at FermentedlyChallenged.com.

Horse lovers won’t want to miss the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo at the National Western Complex in Denver this weekend. This huge event runs the 9th through the 11th and there are over 150 presentations being given at the event in 7 venues. I did mention this is a big event, right? Cowboy tales, a craft show and an holistic horse fair are just three of dozens of events scheduled for the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. Go to ColoradoHorseCouncil.com for all the information.

window and shutters.white houseHere’s a unique event I discovered. It’s the 2012 Old House Fair being held at Metro State. Denver’s Old House Society hosts the event that offers resources and workshops specifically for people who own homes over 50-years-old. The fair includes an antique road show, notable Denver appraisers, workshops on all kinds of subjects and exhibitors will be on hand to showcase products and services.  If you own an old home, this is an excellent opportunity to get some of your questions answered.  Visit DenversOldHouseSociety.org for details.

This is a bit of a drive from Northern Colorado, but for birders it will be worth it. The 29th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival runs the 9th through the 11th. I have friends who have been to this event and they were very impressed. The festival includes birding outings, workshops, a craft show and a lot more. To learn all about this feathery festival visit CraneFest.com.

Last, as I informed you last week, I’m a crazy soccer fan and this weekend is opening day for the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. The Colorado Rapids take on the Columbus Crew this Saturday. Join me before the match at the Class VI/PidArmy tailgate!  For more visit NoFanAlone.com.

That’s all for this week. As always you can keep up with me on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB, or on Twitter @HeidiTown or join the town on Google Plus.  So until next week, I will see you online!

Thanks for listening!

My weekly segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.

Listen to AUDIO HERE or read the transcripts below.

***

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.

Is this year flying by for anyone else? Because I can’t believe that I’m already talking about the last weekend in February.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been chatting a lot lately about mountain events, and that’s because ski season is in full swing and there’s always something happening at the resorts. However, this week I’m going to talk about events across the Front Range.

Watching the Main Event at the Kress Oscar Party

Oscar Party at the Kress 2011. Photo by Matthew Gale.

First, many of you probably don’t know, but I used to be a movie reviewer. The reviews ran in a local newspaper and on HeidiTown.com, so I’m a bit of a film buff. The Academy Awards are this Sunday evening, and I’m rooting for Hugo to win Best Picture. Not only was this a beautiful crafted 3D film, but the story was wonderful. If you can’t tell by my gushing, I loved it.

This Sunday, I will be watching the Academy Awards at the Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley. They have an annual Oscar Party shindig that includes hors’ orderves, champagne, a red carpet and even paparazzi. Guests can watch the Academy Awards live on the Kress’s big screen. To learn more go to KressCinema.com.

Oscar Night in America is the annual gala fundraiser for the Denver Film Society. This is one of 49 official Oscar parties sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Enjoy a glitz and glamour filled evening at this magnificent event. Go to DenverFilm.org for details.

And now for something completely different…

babyOn Saturday at the National Western Complex in Denver it’s the 9th Annual Colorado Baby & Kidz Expo. Whether you are already a parent or expecting, this event is the largest indoor Parent, Baby, Todder and Child Expo in Colorado. There will be vendors, entertainment and more. Go to TheExpoPros.com for information on this and other large shows across the country.

If you didn’t make it down to the Home & Garden Show in Denver, be sure to check out the 29th Annual Greeley Tribune Home & Garden Show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Island Grove Regional Park Arena. For more go to GreeleyTribune.com or find this event on Facebook.

In Colorado Springs this weekend fans of sci-fi will enjoy GalaxyFest at Antlers Hilton Hotel. This Science Fiction Media and Literacy Conventions features shows, presentations, interactive events, costume contests, a zombie crawl, celebrity appearances and a whole lot more. Grab your Stormtrooper costume and get to Colorado Springs for a wild weekend of Sci-Fi fun. More at GalaxyFest.org.
If you prefer going back in time, instead of forward, Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Bash is this Saturday at the Buffalo Rose Music & Events Center in Golden. Born in 1846, William F. Cody experienced the Old West to its fullest. His Wild West Show was the most popular of his day and his legend will live on forever. Buffalo Bill’s grave is located on Lookout Mountain Road in Golden. His birthday bash will be a day to remember with an historic re-enactors contest and more.  Visit BuffaloBillDays.com for a schedule of events.

I mentioned this event previously, and now it’s here. The High Plains Snow Goose Festival runs February 23 through the 26th in Lamar. Celebrating birds and the heritage of Southeast Colorado, learn all about this unique event at HighPlainsSnowGoose.com or find them on Facebook. They have some lovely birding photos posted there.

And now for those planning ahead…

wine bottle & glassI love trains. If you’ve listened for any length of time you’ve probably figure that out. So I always have my eye open for fun train events.  I really wish there were trains here in Northern Colorado, but they tend to be all south.

On March 3rd the Rio Grand Scenic Railroad has a Wine Train. They also had a beer train earlier this month. Combining a wine tasting and scenic ride on the rails is my idea of the perfect outing. Other trains around Colorado run special events throughout the year as well. For more info on the wine train go to RioGrandeScenicRailroad.com.

Another wine event to put on your calendar is Wine Fest Fort Collins on March 23rd. It’s the 30th year of this event that benefits Disabled Resource Services. This is among the largest wine tasting events in Colorado, so go to WineFestFC.org to get all the delicious details.

That’s all for this week. Until we meet again, come party with me and other town citizens on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB. Or chitchat with me on Twitter @HeidiTown or join the town on Google Plus.

Thanks for listening!

The following is the transcript from my weekly radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM. You can read the transcript below or listen to the audio –> HERE.

***

Hi, my name is Heidi, and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and road trips around Colorado.

Freedom Service dogs

Photo courtesy of Freedom Service Dogs. All rights reserved.

Before I get started on this week’s segment, I want to tell you about HeidiTown.com Gives Back. Each month a Colorado-based nonprofit of my choosing is receiving free ad space on HeidiTown.com. This month’s organization is Freedom Service Dogs out of Englewood, Colorado. Established in 1987, their mission is to train dogs to aid disabled military veterans, and all the dogs in their program come from shelters. For more information on HeidiTown.com Gives Back, visit the blog. For more information on February’s nonprofit go to FreedomServiceDogs.org.

This year, Valentine’s Day lands on a Tuesday, so many of you might be celebrating this weekend, and there are a couple events here in Northern Colorado that just might be the ticket for a special evening with your honey.

Why not take your special someone to Loveland this weekend? In addition to Night on the Town scheduled for this Friday, also this weekend at the historic Feed & Grain it’s Love & Light, a contemporary art, photography and light exhibition. Presented by Studio Blue Bird, Love & Light runs Friday through Sunday, and art lovers shouldn’t miss this fantastic show. Visit loveandlightloveland.com for all the details and featured artists.

Here in Fort Collins, enjoy Dancing with the Stars, presented by the Canyon Concert Ballet at the Sunset Event Center this Saturday evening. Dance styles range from swing to tango to the Lindy hop. Find out more at CCBallet.org.

And don’t forget, all the ice rinks are open around Colorado, from downtown Fort Collins to Skyline Park in Denver.

OrchidIf the winter is getting you a little down, it might be a good time to start thinking about gardening at the 53rd Annual Colorado Garden & Home Show at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. I’ve been to this event and it really is huge. The year I attended, CSU had planted an entire garden inside the convention center. The show is this weekend, and to get all the dirt visit GardeningColorado.com.

Another way to beat the winter blues is at the Denver Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show Case that runs through February 20th. More than 200 flowering orchids are on display and on the weekends there are special events surrounding this showcase. Visit BotanicGardens.org for information.

Here’s a unique event, this weekend and next enjoy the 4th Annual Cripple Creek Ice Festival. This year’s theme is “A Military Salute Carved in Ice.”  Held on Main Street, the event features ice sculptures and lots of live entertainment for the entire family. To learn more visit Cripple-Creek.co.

If you are headed up to the mountains this weekend, you might consider Copper Uncorked, a Winter Wine Festival on Friday through Sunday. This is my kind of event! They call it the most attitude-free wine and food festival in the Colorado Rockies. This is a celebration of wine, food and winter recreational activities. For more visit CopperUncorked.com.

Also in the mountains this weekend, the Winter Teva Mountain Games are in Vail… more at TevaMountainGames.com.

Cowboys in the Snow SB Winter Carnival 2011

Cowboys in the snow at Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival 2011. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

And, it’s finally here, an event you’ve heard me talk about previously, Steamboat Winter Carnival is February 8 thru the 12th. This is the 99th year of this event, so you know it has to be good, and it is!  We attended last year and had so much fun. Visit Steamboat-chamber.com for info.

And now to plan ahead… for those of you looking for a fun winter road trip… the High Plains Snow Goose Festival is February 23 through 26th in Lamar, Colorado. 100s of thousands of geese fly through this area and for 10 years they’ve been celebrating the birds and the heritage of Southeast Colorado. If you enjoy nature, this is an incredible event with all sorts of wildlife tours, talks and much more. Visit HighPlainsSnowGoose.com or find the festival on Facebook.

That’s all for this week. To find out even more about what’s happening around Colorado, join the town’s block party on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comOnFB. You can also follow HeidiTown on Twitter or circle the town on Google Plus.

Thanks for listening!

The following is the transcript and audio from HeidiTown.com’s weekly segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.

Human Bowling in Winter Park

Human Bowling at Winter Park's Winter Carnival. Photo courtesy of PlayWinterPark.com.

Listen to the audio –> HERE.

Hi, my name is Heidi, and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about Colorado events, festivals and road trips.

If you are anything like me, this is the time of year where I get a little down. Thankfully, the sun seems to always shine in Colorado, so that helps, and really, there’s no reason to be bored. You just have to look a little harder, and perhaps travel just a little farther to find something fun to do on the weekend.

Here’s the lineup for January 20 through the 22nd, 2012.

I recently posted a list of Colorado Winter Festivals not to be missed on HeidiTown.com, but I couldn’t list them all because there are A LOT.  So tuning in here is a good way to find out even more!

This weekend is Winter Park’s Winter Carnival. Running Friday through Sunday, the event also celebrates the birthday of one of the town’s most famous gals – Mary Jane. This is probably the biggest party of the year in Winter Park and includes everything from fireworks and a parade to tons of snow related activities, including a 5K snowshoe race. And despite getting off to a slow start this season, there IS plenty of snow in Winter Park! Learn more about this and other events year round at PlayWinterPark.com.

DinosaursI’m always on the look out for museums like the Dinosaur Resource Center located in Woodland Park, Colorado. We are really lucky, because Colorado full of these types of gems. The Dinosaur Resource Center has lots of great events for kids year round, including Magical Music Winter Fun this Saturday. Visitors can see spectacular dinosaurs including T-Rex, raptors, giant flying and marine reptiles, huge carnivorous fish and life restorations. Even take a peak into the fossil preparation lab. Visit RMDRC.com for more.

Other dinosaur museums around Colorado you might want to check out are the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, online at MuseumsofWesternCo.com. The Dinosaur Depot Museum in Canon City, at DinosaurDepot.com. The Dinosaur National Monument located along the Colorado/Utah border and online at NPS.gov/DNO. The Morrison Natural History Museum in Morrison, at MNHM.org, and also in Morrison, Dinosaur Ridge online DinoRidge.org.

This Saturday, celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Denver Art Museum. In addition to Chinese art there will be lion and dragon dances performed by the Colorado Asian Heritage Center followed by a martial arts demonstration. More on this event at DenverArtMuseum.org.

falconThere are a couple nature-oriented activities I’d like to tell you about. First, the Wintertime Plant Walk at my favorite Northern Colorado trail, Devil’s Backbone Open Space in Loveland. If you like to garden and you are getting the itch, this may help relieve it a bit. Join a naturalist at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the trailhead. She will explain how plants along this trail handle the harsh winter season.

Also on Saturday, if you prefer birds over plants, join a naturalist for Big Birds of River Bluffs Open Space in Windsor. Located at the I25/Windsor interchange, this two-hour program takes an in-depth look at the large birds that use the river corridor. For more information on this event and other similar events, visit Larimer.org/naturalresources.

Here’s an upcoming event you might want to calendar. The famed International Snow Sculpting Championships in Breckenridge start Tuesday, January 24 and run through February 5. For more information and to plan your trip to this amazing event, visit GoBreck.com.

Also just around the corner is Snowdown in Durango February 1 through the 5th. I’ve written about this event and other Winter Festivals on HeidiTown.com, so make sure you’re tuning into the blog or subscribe by stopping into the town’s Visitors Center. Along with useful information there are lots of contests on the blog that allow you to become a VIP at events across Colorado.

That’s all for this weekend. As always, you can contact me directly by emailing TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown, and join the town’s growing block party at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comOnFB.

Thanks for listening!

HeidiTown.com’s KRFC 88.9 FM radio segment for the weekend of December 16-18, 2011.

Click here –> LISTEN TO AUDIO

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and road trips around Colorado. Remember, HeidiTown is not a calendar of events, but rather stuff the Mayor likes!

bald eagle

Bald Eagles. Photo from PhotoXpress.com

And one thing I like? Birds. Yes, I’m an amateur birder so this event caught my eye. Bald eagles spend their winters in Northern Colorado, and I’ve already seen one sitting in a tree near I25 around the Berthoud exit.

You will have a chance to see one during Eagle Watch at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space this Saturday, December 17th from 9 to 11 a.m. Join a Master Naturalist and learn about these amazing birds. Binoculars and scopes are provided. These Eagle Watches will take place through January 22nd, so check out FCGov.com/naturalareas for dates and times.

Also in Northern Colorado, don’t miss the Garden of Light at The Gardens on Spring Creek. The garden is lit up in thousands of lights, and kids young and old will be amazed. Visit Santa, listen to holiday music, and enjoy warm drinks and sweet treats. Visit FCGov.com/Gardens for the list of activities planned and for directions to The Gardens.

If you haven’t visited Santa in Old Town Square in Fort Collins, you still have time! And don’t miss Story Time with Santa on Thursdays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m. and Skating with Santa on Saturdays from 11 to 12 at the Old Town Skating Rink. Get all the details at DowntownFortCollins.com.

Colorado Governor Mansion

Colorado Governor Mansion (Photo from Wikipedia)

Also in Fort Collins, don’t miss the Be Local Winter Market on Saturdays from 10 to 3. The market, held in the Opera Galleria at 123 N. College, features over 40 vendors with local products. Go to BeLocalFirst.org for more information.

Here’s something to do with the family. This event started on December 10 and is continuing daily through this Friday the 16th. Enjoy free holiday tours of the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion. The mansion is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day and the decorations this year will reflect the theme Holiday Heritages. Entertainment will be provided throughout the week in the Carriage House. Go to HistoryColorado.org for more.  See a slide show of this year’s decorations at the mansion here.

This weekend take part in Twas the Night Candlelight Christmas Tour at the Molly Brown House Museum on Friday and Saturday night. Take a special Christmas tour of the museum with special holiday readings, treats and Old St. Nick. A truly wonderful family event. Also at the Molly Brown Museum, Holiday High Tea. For more information visit MollyBrown.org.

In Golden, Colorado it’s the last weekend to witness the Olde Golden Christmas Parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. If you’ve never visited Golden during the holidays, you’re missing out on a great little Christmas town. While there, don’t miss Santa and Mrs. Claus’s last weekend at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Here in Colorado, Santa has replaced his sleigh and reindeer with a locomotive and historic passenger cars all decked out for the holidays. The train departs every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Visit ColoradoRailroadMuseum.org for details.

Aspen Fireworks Photo by Dan Bayer

12 Days of Aspen, New Year's Eve. (Photo courtesy AspenChamber.org. Photographer Dan Bayer)

In the mountains, the 12 Days of Aspen kick off next week on December 20. This event is just one reason Aspen made the HeidiTown’s Top 5 Christmas Towns list. From the 20th through New Years Eve, Aspen celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to ice-skating to shopping and dining specials and much more. Visit AspenChamber.org for the entire 12-day lineup.

That’s it for this week… there are lots of events taking place across Colorado this month and if you’d like to share something that’s happening in your neighborhood, there are lots of ways to connect with me.
You can email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com, tweet me on Twitter @HeidiTown
or leave me a comment on the blog or on Facebook at HeidiTown.comOnFB.

Thanks for listening and happy holidays!

The Mayor of HeidiTown snowshoeing outside Nederland, Colorado. Photo by Ryan Schlaefer, all right reserved.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the outdoors and wildlife. I checked a couple Northern Colorado newspaper calendars to gather this information and you can check your local newspaper for winter walks and hikes in your area.

From birding walks to snowshoeing, these Northern Colorado events will educated you and provide exercise too!

Loveland, CO – Wintertime Wildlife Hike

Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail

FREE event

Join volunteer naturalist, Bob, at the trail head at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 for this three-hour guided hike on one of the Mayor’s favorite Northern Colorado trails (see the Mayor’s recent Best of NoCo Trails aricle on CBS Denver). Watch for birds, and be amazed by the beauty of the naturally formed rock formation that is the highlight of this natural area. Be sure to wear weather appropriate clothing and bring water, camera and binoculars if you’ve got a pair. For more information on this natural area go to this website.

The Devil’s Backbone is located west of Loveland on the north side of Hwy 34 off of Hidden Valley Drive.

Fort Collins – Eagle Watch

Fossil Creek Open Space

FREE event

Sat., January 15 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. & Sat., February 12 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Bald eagles migrate from Canada and Alaska to winter in south Fort Collins at the Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space. At these two events you have the opportunity to join the Fort Collins Natural Areas Program’s Master Naturalists to learn and watch these amazing bird. Wear weather appropriate clothing, and be prepared for a short walk along a paved trail to the viewing area. Binoculars and scopes will be provided. For more information on the Fossil Creek natural area go to their website.

Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space is on Carpenter Road/ CR 32, approximately one mile west of I-25, or two miles east of Timberline on the north side of Carpenter Road.

Fort Collins – Wintertime Plant Walk

Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

FREE event, but there is a $6 day use fee to use the open space

This three-hour wintertime plant walk starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 15. Naturalist Kathy leads this guided walk and she will explain how plants survive the harsh winter and she will point out various plant species along the way. The trail may be slipper so wear appropriate shoes and bring water.

Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is located along CR 38E, 5 miles west of the intersection of Harmony and Taft Hill roads in Fort Collins.

Estes Park – Winter Trails Day

Rocky Mountain National Park

FREE event

This event occurs at 100 resorts and Nordic centers around the country. It gives adults and children the chance to try out snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for free. In Estes the event will take place at Rocky Mountain National Park on Sat., January 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drive to the park entrance to get directions. For more information about Winter Trails Day, visit their website.