Cottonwood Bend

TrailheadRover Run Trailhead

Description: After crossing under the bridge at 59th Avenue the trail turns the South until it reaches the #3 Ditch where it again turns to the East. It follows along the canal a ways and then turns to the North and again to the East to follow the edge of a grassy field.

Features: Rover Run Dog Park: Dogs are allowed to run free inside an large 3-acre fenced area. The dog park has benches, a portable restroom and receptacles for waste bags. Be sure to bring water for Fido. The dog park is open during daylight hours only. The City of Greeley requests that you follow the rules of the dog park and properly dispose of your pup’s waste.

Geology: This area is bounded by a large bend in the river called a meander. These bends are formed over hundreds of years. As a river begins to mature, it cuts and erodes into the outside of its curves and deposits sediment on the inside of the curves. This is due to the fact that the stream moves more rapidly on the outside of the curve and more slowly on the inside of the curve. Thus, as the erosion and deposition continues, the curve becomes larger and more circular.

Over time, the loop of the curve reaches a diameter of approximately five times the width of the stream and the river begins to cut the loop off by eroding the neck of the loop. Eventually, the river breaks through at a cutoff and forms a new streambed.

Sediment is then deposited on the inside edge of the loop, cutting it off from the stream entirely. This results in a crescent-shaped lake called an “oxbow” lake because they look like the bow part of the yoke used with teams of oxen.

History: Old road maps of this area show a wagon trail that crossed the river at this bend. It appears to be a route that might have been used between Greeley and Fort Collins. Standing here on the trail near the river today, one can imagine hearing the horses splash through the low water and the creak of the wheels as the wagon was pulled across the river.