Sheep Draw Junction
Mile W-12.1 to W-13.5
Trailhead: Poudre River Ranch Natural Area Trailhead.
Description: Through this area the trail is on the top of the river embankment for much of the way, providing a great view of the river. There are quite a few curves, lots of trees. At the east end the trail goes under the road on 59th Avenue to access the next section. This portion of the trail is subject to flooding during high water events such as spring run-off and heavy rainstorms. It will be closed during those times.
Features: A prairie dog colony inhabits the area along the eastern end of this section. Deer and a variety of birds can be been seen in this area. Watch for great horned owls and wild turkeys.
Sometimes during road construction projects, the County has to destroy small wetlands. Under federal law, those areas have to be replaced. This is called mitigation. Instead of making many small wetlands, the County is creating a new, larger wetland here near the trail. Keep an eye on it and watch how it changes over time.
Geology: Near the eastern end of this section the trail crosses Sheep Draw, a natural drainage that starts several miles away in southwest Greeley and joins with Poudre River at this location.
History: Along this section you can see several pieces of rusty old farm equipment, reminding us of the agricultural heritage of the area.