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Enjoying State Parks in the Winter

One of the biggest perks residents of Sterling Ranch enjoy is close proximity to two of Colorado’s beautiful state parks: Chatfield State Park and Roxborough State Park. With its large reservoir, Chatfield especially conjures images of summer activities such as boating, paddle boarding, and jet skiing. But you can enjoy the parks all year round without waiting for summer! Both offer activities throughout the year for a variety of ages and interests.

Best of all, many of the classes and events offered by Colorado State Parks are free with a parks pass—something every Sterling Ranch resident receives annually at no extra cost. And while Chatfield and Roxborough are the nearest parks, your state parks pass is good for all 41 of Colorado’s State Parks, so you’re free to venture further from home and take full advantage of Colorado’s natural beauty.

Birding

Winter is an optimal time for bird watching in Colorado. Birds are quite active this time of year and the bare tree branches make them all the easier to spot. You can always strike out on your own with a pair of binoculars and a good app such as iBird Pro to help you identify what you see. If you’d prefer the assistance of a seasoned enthusiast, though, both parks offer guided walks: Chatfield on Jan. 26th and Feb. 23rd, and Roxborough on Jan. 20.

Ice Fishing

You’ll want to bundle up for this one! While perhaps not as tranquil as fishing from a boat, ice fishing is growing in popularity

throughout the state, and Chatfield Reservoir is one of the eight best locations for it. New to the sport? Chatfield is offering an Introduction to Ice Fishing on Saturday, Feb.16th. And whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, always use caution: never go on the ice without being certain that it’s safe. You can consult Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s ice fishing safety tips for more information.

Hiking

With so many days of sunshine, it’s not unusual to have a mild winter day that is perfect for going on a hike. Roxborough offers a variety of trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging. Chatfield also has have a number of trails ranging in length and difficulty, and you can even rent a horse for a trail ride! For snowy days, grab your snowshoes and enjoy the tranquility of the quiet trails. Be aware of some current trail closures at Chatfield (you can find updates here).

Programs for Kids

You love the outdoors and you want to instill that same passion in your children. A great way to give them some entertainment alongside a little backdoor education is the Roxy Puppet Theater. Kids ages 8 and younger will learn about wildlife at Roxborough State Park by watching a fun and wacky puppet show.

We hope we’ve inspired you to get out and make the most of your state parks pass this winter. Enjoy the season!