Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area: Ginny Trail

Another warm week is here. Today it was going to get in to the 60’s so I decided to do a nice long hike. I really enjoyed the hike I did on the DR trail last month at the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area so I headed back to Bobcat Ridge today to hike the Ginny Trail.

To hike Ginny Trail all the way to Mahoney Park and back is 11.8 miles

The Ginny Trail is open to hikers and mountain bikes. The trail is 5.4 miles long and climbs 1,500 feet in elevation. The trail is steep and rocky. It goes up the ridge and ends at Mahoney Park, a meadow with nice views and some interesting rock formations.

A sign posted along Ginny Trail talking about the fire in 2000

Since I was arriving at Bobcat Ridge just before 2PM I knew that I wasn’t going to make it all the way to Mahoney Park and back. That roundtrip hike would to Mahoney Park and back would be 11.8 miles since it’s half a mile to the Ginny Trail from the parking lot. Today I was just going to hike to the top of the ridge and maybe a bit further if I was making good time.

Looking across at the Ginny Trail

Getting some nice views from the Ginny Trail

Looking Southeast from the Ginny Trail

Ginny Trail: many rocks along the trail and one foot bridge

Looking toward the Northeast from the Ginny Trail

It was a little breezy as I started to get up in elevation but the sun was so warm and I was working so hard climbing the trail that I had to take my fleece off. Short sleeves in February? I only saw one other person on the trail and they were heading back down already.

Short sleeves in February

The views were great from the Ginny Trail, much better then from the DR Trail I hiked last month. The DR Trail mostly gave me views of the east and north. I didn’t make it to the ridge so I didn’t get any views of the west. There was not a lot of sunshine on the DR trail. The Ginny Trail gave me views of east and south and then west after I got on top of the ridge. The whole time I hiked in the sun, which is so nice in the winter time and it means no snow on the trail.
I was accompanied by amazing views of Fort Collins and Loveland hiking up the ridge.

I'm getting really good at taking pictures of myself, even those tricky action shots

Smog hanging over Fort Collins and Loveland

On top of the ridgelooking East (left) entering the Roosevelt National Forest (right)

Looking West from the top of the ridge and Ginny Trail

Continuing West on the Ginny Trail in to the sun

But once I got up on top of the ridge I had brand new scenery to look at; all the mountains the south and west. It was so nice and sunny up on the ridge, so quite and peaceful. I finally stopped to take a break and take in the sights. I kind of wished I had started this hike earlier and brought a book or something, so I could hang out here longer. But the daylight was running out and now the sun was moving west. I would be hiking back down in the shadows so I threw on my fleece and headed back down.

This is as far as I got on the Ginny Trail, that's Fort Collins and Loveland and the ridge way behind me

Coming back down the trail, those sharp rocks in the middle of the picture, that's the Devil's Backbone in Loveland

The minute the sun sets it gets cold here in the desert, having a pack big enough to hold some warm layers is necessary for longer hikes especially in the winter time

Pink sky at sun set from the Ginny Trail

By the time I made it to the car, it was already dark and the gate was closed. One other car was getting ready to leave the parking lot so I followed it out. Apparently you can still leave after the gate is closed. The gate has a sensor on it which is solar powered, pretty neat.

Today I hiked a good part of the Ginny Trail high-lighted in pink; the Ginny Trail is 5.4 miles long and climbs 1,500 feet in elevation

I would imagine I hiked about 6 miles today. One of these days I will have to get here early and hike the whole Ginny Trail. It’s going to be a long hike, I’m not sure I’m ready to a long one yet. Need to do more hiking and get in better shape first.


Mike said...

So great to read your articles and your photos are amazing as usual. I passed on your website to some friends in Fort Collins, they were interested in your exploring.

Anna said...

Thanks for the compliments and letting others know about my blog!

I must say that being unemployed in Fort Collins ROCKS! So many things to do… and it’s still Winter.

Anonymous said...

Wow neat! This is a really great site! I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
like this in the past? Keep up the great work!