"The Black Powder Trail begins in Gateway Park, located at the confluence of the Poudre River and the North Fork of the Poudre and is the site of the former Fort Collins water treatment plant that opened in 1903. During the Depression, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers built roads and trails in the park area. In 2004, the Picnic Rock Fire raged through much of the park.We can witness here how a natural area restores itself after a burning. In 2006, the Fort Collins Naturals Areas program began administering the park and renamed it Gateway Natural Area. Because of its natural beauty and closeness to the city, it is a popular destination—a nice hike that can be accomplished in a half day, including driving time.
Gateway Park is an inviting place,with large, grassy areas, picnic pavilions, barbecue grills, and clean restrooms.As with other mountain areas, rattlesnakes are occasionally encountered, so exercise normal caution. The park is a fee area—four dollars for passenger cars and eight dollars for vans.Hours of use are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day and from 8 a.m. to sunset the rest of the year. The expression “all over the board” springs to mind as efforts are made to assess the difficulty of the Black Powder Trail."