The boys and I were overdue for a natural areas visit, and when the weather is hot like it was last week, the cool waters of the Cache la Poudre River are pretty inviting. The McMurry and Salyer Natural Areas lie adjacent to one another alongside the river and are two of the 17 natural areas included in the city's river management plan.
McMurry's two ponds make it a popular spot for fishers and canoers. We weren't outfitted for either, so we walked around them and looked for interesting critters--which, during the heat of the day, weren't out and about in abundance. (Smarter than we were, I guess.) Swimming is not allowed in the ponds, but it's just a short detour to the river, where my boys waded in and cooled off.
Salyer is an easy-access area with a short stretch of trail perfect for watching the birds. The meadow at Salyer is under restoration, which includes the removal of the native iris for future reintroduction. I would like to come back and see it when that is completed.
We also found a shady stream and a great tree for climbing. All in all, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours of a summer day.