ELC Loop Trail
At the far eastern fringe of the bustling college town of Fort Collins, the Colorado State University Environmental Learning Center (ELC) offers more than 200 acres of forest, wetlands, a scenic river, and even resident raptors. These lands are rich in history, dating to the 1800s. The Arapaho Indians hunted here and tribal councils were held on the center’s grounds. Later, ELC land was the site of the Overland Trail stagecoach stop. The ELC began with 80 acres of land donated to the university in the 1960s, and CSU continues to manage the area through its College of Natural Resources. Handson environmental education is supported with a comprehensive education building and visitor center with an indoor classroom, outdoor amphitheater, and teaching forest. This place is a wonderful asset for the town and is ideal for wildlife viewing or taking a quiet stroll. This short hike explores some of the 2.5 miles of trails visiting several distinct ecosystems. The small building adjacent to the parking area houses the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, a university-based resource dedicated to providing medical care, rehabilitation, and release for injured birds of prey. Walk over and take a gander at these striking avians—bald and golden eagles, great horned owls, hawks, and other birds native to the area.
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Directions to: ELC Loop Trailprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||10 ft|
|Season||April through October|
|Trailhead Elevation||4,880 ft|
|Top Elevation||4,885 ft|
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