Sunset Vista Natural Area (MAP)
5900 N CR 17
Loveland, CO 80537
(NE corner of Taft Ave & 57th St)
Draft concept plans now available for feedback
A public open house meeting was held on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 to present concept plans and solicit feedback on proposed Sunset Vista Natural Area trails and other public amenities for passive recreation uses. The following documents were available for review:
Long View Corridor Trail Funding Secured
Funding has been secured to build the Long View Corridor Trail, a 4.4-mile multi-use recreation and commuter trail connecting Loveland and Fort Collins. The trail will tie in to the Loveland Recreation Trail System at Sunset Vista Natural Area, including intersection improvements for crossing at 57th Street and North Taft Avenue.
Loveland and Fort Collins, along with Larimer County, have received funding from a CDOT Transportation Alternative Project Grant ($1 million) and a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Paths to Parks Grant ($1 million), to help pay for construction of the 4.4-mile long, 10-foot wide Long View Corridor Trail, trailhead/parking lot, and intersection improvements to connect to the Loveland and Fort Collins trail systems.
Sunset Vista Acquired for Open Space & Trails
In August 2014, the City of Loveland acquired this key 87-acre open space property at the northeast quadrant of North Taft Ave & 57th Street, adding to preserved land in the 3,500-acre “community separator” between Loveland and Fort Collins. Sunset Vista also opens new connections for two long-awaited off-street trails: the Loveland Recreation Trail loop and the Long View Corridor Trail linking Loveland and Fort Collins. The $1.5 million purchase price for Sunset Vista was funded primarily by Loveland’s share of the voter-approved open space sales tax collected throughout Larimer County, and a $200,000 contribution from Larimer County Open Lands. The acquisition also included shares of CBT water and Louden Ditch water rights. The community separator also includes Loveland’s Prairie Ridge Natural Area, Larimer County’s Long View Farm, and Fort Collins’ McKee Farm.
A public naming contest generated over 300 names from more than 150 community members. In January 2015, the Open Lands Advisory Commission selected the winning name for this new open space: Sunset Vista Natural Area. Residents Jim and Pat Horner, who proposed the name, have enjoyed “the best sunsets in Loveland" over this open space.
The property provides a sanctuary for wildlife such as songbirds, raptors, amphibians, coyote, red fox, and deer. Tributary wetlands, a section of the Louden Ditch, and agricultural lands provide wildlife habitat, cover, and movement corridors for these species. Wetlands support common cattail, reed canarygrass, Emory and Nebraska sedge, coyote willow, and plains cottonwood. The property also offers sweeping views of the foothills and mountains.
Anticipated uses include development of a trailhead parking lot, construction of trails for recreation and wildlife viewing, and continuing use as a working farm. Park planners will implement a master planning process for the property that will include resource evaluation and public input to help identify long-term uses and future improvements.