River's Edge Natural Area

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River's Edge Natural Area (MAP)
960 West 1st Street
Loveland, CO  80537
(located across 1st Street from Centennial Park)


River's Edge Natural Area Amenities (see MAP)

Regular hours are 6:00 am to 10:30 pm daily.  Restrooms are open seasonally.  Flush restrooms and drinking fountain are currently closed for the 2017-2018 season.  Vault toilets remain open year-round. 

The 163-acre natural area is located south of 1st St. and east of Taft Ave. and includes the following amenities:  

  • 3.8 miles of natural-surface trails for pedestrian use, fishing access, bicycling, and wildlife viewing
  • Five ponds, including Bass, Dragonfly, Sandpiper, and Jayhawker North and South, with numerous fishing access points
  • Two ADA-accessible fishing docks (Bass and Dragonfly Ponds)
  • Wetland boardwalk for a close-up experience at Bass Pond
  • Three non-reservable picnic shelters with picnic tables, restrooms & drinking fountain
  • Parking - for 44 vehicles, 4 ADA-accessible spaces, and bus drop-off lane
  • Amphitheater - with seating for up to 70 for educational programs
  • Recreation Trail Access - connections to Recreation Trail along the Big Thompson River
  • Interpretive signs & Environmental Education stations throughout the site

Fishing access and belly boat access points are located throughout the site. Fishing is permitted in accordance with site-specific Colorado Parks & Wildlife fishing regulations HERE. Float tube fishing is permitted on all River's Edge ponds except Jayhawker North; all other boating and swimming activities are prohibited. River's Edge rules & regulations are available HERE.

Parking is available on-site at 960 W. 1st St. and 970 W. 1st St.  Parking is also available at the Thompson School District building at 800 S. Taft Ave, with access via Ryan's Gulch Trail.  Walk-in access via Mineral Trail is available at Carlisle Drive entrance. 

Milkweed for Monarchs  

More than 65 volunteers braved blustery weather on Saturday, May 7, 2016 to plant 1,700 native milkweed plants along the shores of Sandpiper and Bass Pond at River's Edge.  The plants will provide habitat for Monarch butterflies.  The project was sponsored by the Loveland Initiative for Monarch Butterflies (LIMB) and Audubon Rockies.  Read  more HERE.     

What is River's Edge Natural Area? 

River's Edge Natural Area was purchased by the City in 2011 as part of the former HP/Agilent property acquisition. Proceeds from the City’s Open Lands CEF (Capital Expansion Fee) fund were allocated for the acquisition, designating the site for open space uses only.  

In 2013, the HP/Agilent Open Space property was given a new name – River’s Edge Natural Area.  More than 150 name suggestions were submitted, with references to local wildlife, plants, history, and people. “River’s Edge Natural Area” was selected based on the natural features and location of the site along the Big Thompson River.  

Following the 2013 Big Thompson Flood, funds from a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Flood Recovery Grant, as well as FEMA flood recovery dollars, helped pay for reconstruction of trails, pond access points and wetlands damaged during the flood.

Statement of Environmental Conditions at River’s Edge Natural Area

The City of Loveland has received inquiries from the public regarding the health of the ponds at River’s Edge Natural Area. The questions regarding the status of the land and ponds have arisen because of the discovery in 1984 (prior to acquisition of the property by the City) of chemical releases beneath one of the buildings at the nearby Hewlett-Packard facility located on SW 14th Street, now the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology (the “Site”). The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) required active remediation of the contaminants at the Site from 1990 to 2000. After more than a decade, CDPHE approved the removal of the remediation systems in 2004. Currently, no further active remediation is required by CDPHE or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Site. Additional safeguards have been established by recording and implementing an environmental covenant that now places restrictions on the use of the Site and some adjacent property. The Environmental Covenant does not affect any of the River’s Edge property north of the Big Thompson Ditch or the water in the River’s Edge ponds.

In an effort to identify and evaluate any continuing environmental concerns with respect to the land and water at River’s Edge, the City of Loveland contracted with Walsh Environmental Scientists and Engineers, LLC in 2011 to complete an Environmental Study of the entire Site and River’s Edge Natural Area. As a result of the study, the City further remediated several land surface areas located outside of the area covered by the environmental covenant. Remediation included soil screening, debris removal and disposal, and confirmation sampling. The environmental study also included an analysis of the water in the River’s Edge Ponds. The study indicated that at the time of analysis, the ponds were in compliance with applicable CDPHE contaminant thresholds. In 2012, with assistance from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), CDPHE and CPW conducted a study to investigate the presence of mercury contaminants in fish that could potentially be consumed by public anglers. All levels of mercury were well below CDPHE standards for fish consumption. Additional surveys completed by CPW (2012), found high-quality, viable fish populations in each pond. The fish management plan for the Natural Area is currently being developed by the City and CPW.

The City will continue to monitor River’s Edge Natural Area with assistance, advice, and guidance from CPW and CDPHE. Any changes regarding access to or status of River’s Edge Natural Area will be posted on the City’s website and on the physical site as well.

If you need additional information, please call the
Parks & Recreation Administration Office at: (970) 962-2727.
River's Edge Natural Area Project Schedule PDF

To report maintenance issues, please call the on-call staff at (970) 962-2730 (April to October).  

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