Colorado’s State Forest State Park has over 71,000 acres of beautiful Colorado wilderness to explore. Located northwest of the very popular Rocky Mountain National Park, this park boasts similar scenery but has far fewer visitors each year, allowing you to be truly immersed in the Colorado wilderness. Visitors to the park can hike miles of trails along jagged peaks, gorgeous lakes, and mountain meadows. The park also has several major rivers, the well-known Lake Michigan reservoir, and sand dunes. Situated to the west of the Medicine Bow Mountains and north of the Never Summer Range, the State Forest State Park is in an ideal mountain location for outdoor enthusiasts.
Activities in the Park
Activities in Colorado’s State Forest State Park are nearly endless. Visitors can enjoy biking, birding, boating on the North Michigan Reservoir, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and more. In winter, the park’s trails can be used for cross country skiing, snowmobiling (in designated areas), snowshoeing, sledding, and snow tubing. The park also allows limited hunting, fishing, and ice fishing at certain times of the year.
Families may want to participate in the park’s educational programs or their new geogaching program. At the visitor’s center, visitors can rent GPS equipment and set out on a treasure hunt within the park. The park rangers have set up geogaching locations on various trails within the park.
Hikers will enjoy the plentiful trails in the park and the opportunity to summit major peaks, like the North Rawah Peak (12,473 feet). Another popular destination is the awe-inspiring Nokhu Crags. Finally, the scenery along the Michigan and Canadian rivers in the park cannot be beat.
The State Forest State Park also boasts extensive camping facilities. The park has four main campsites: Ranger Lakes, North Michigan Reservoir camping, the Bockman site (which has a horse corral), and The Crags, a more isolated campground. In addition to these grounds, the park has 60 other designated camping sites within the park available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Backcountry camping is allowed with a permit, though backcountry fires are prohibited. Finally, visitors who would like more amenities can rent a cabin or yurt from the park if they do not want to camp.
The Colorado State Forest Stat Park is best known for its wildlife, especially its high concentration of moose. Over 600 moose reside within the park’s boundaries. Moose sightings are a rare occurrence in Colorado, and this park will provide you with the best opportunity to catch a glimpse of this majestic animal. The visitor’s center at the park has a moose theme, and the park also has a special overlook situated in an ideal moose viewing location. Other wildlife in the park includes black bears, bighorn sheep, elk, marmots, badgers, eagles, hawks, coyotes, and more.
For more information, visit the park’s website at http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/StateForest/Pages/StateForestStateParkHome.aspx.