Get outdoors to nearby state parks this Memorial Day
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Memorial Day, a way to remember the men and women who had the courage to give service to the country and a day that marks summer’s unofficial kickoff.
In Colorado, more than 30,000 trails with wide-ranging terrain and indescribable views can be accessed.
Whether hiking, biking, horseback riding or camping, here are a few family-friendly ways to get outdoors and learn about the local flora and fauna as well as the parks nearby.
This weekend, three nearby parks offer a variety of programs to kickoff the weekend and will continue throughout the summer.
“It’s about getting the community involved and learning something new in the outdoors,” said Gabby Lewis, information center at the Yampa River State Park office. “There’s so much to learn, and it can sometimes be overwhelming, but that’s why we have these programs.”
Stagecoach State Park
Summer allows visitors to camp, hike, bike, swim, water ski, sail, windsurf, canoe, kayak and picnic on the 860 acres of park space. For biking, there are about 8 miles of trails via the Elk Run Trail or Lakeside Trail open all summer, considered easy to moderate for bikers.
There’s also hiking, fishing and lots of bird watching opportunities to find species such as Eurasian coots, bald eagles, osprey, white faced ibis, American white pelicans, great blue herons, blue grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and a wide variety of songbirds, hawks and falcons.
For those looking to camp, there are 92 campsites at Stagecoach State Park. Dogs are welcome in the park on a leash.
Their educational programs below are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- Wildflower Walk | 10 to 11 a.m. | Friday | Stagecoach State Park | 2550 County Road 14, Oak Creek
- S’mores and a Movie | 7 to 9 p.m. | Friday | Stagecoach State Park
- Intro to Archery | 3 to 5 p.m. | Sunday | Stagecoach State Park
- Batty About Bats | 8 to 9 p.m. | Sunday | Steamboat Lake State Park
Steamboat Lake State Park
Located at the base of historic Hahn’s Peak, Steamboat Lake offers cabins and 188 campsites as well as a myriad of activities. For biking, Steamboat Lake offers more than 7 miles of trails. For hiking, the park’s three main trails include the Tombstone Nature, Willow Creek and Poverty Bar trails.
There’s also boating, fishing, geocaching, horseback riding and stand-up paddleboarding. Educational programs are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- Guided Hike | 9 to 10 a.m. | 10 to 11 a.m. | Friday | Pearl Lake, Steamboat Lake State Park, 61105 Routt County Road 129
- Survival 101 | 1 to 3 p.m. | Friday | Steamboat Lake State Park
- Black Bear Game Show | 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. | Friday | Steamboat Lake State Park
- What’s the Buzz about Hummingbirds? | 11 a.m. to noon | Sunday| Steamboat Lake State Park
Yampa River State Park
Spanning more than 100 miles, the Yampa River State Park, located in the charming Yampa Valley, is known as three parks in one.
The Headquarters on the Yampa River, near Hayden, provides excellent camping, a visitor center and a nature trail. A 134-mile stretch of the Yampa River is the heart of Yampa River State Park. It has 13 access points stretching from Hayden to the Dinosaur National Monument near the Utah border. Use of the river access points requires a state parks pass.
In addition to more than 12 miles of hiking and biking trails and its access to various boating and fishing opportunities, there are a number of programs offered starting this weekend through Memorial Day weekend.
- Skins and skulls discovery station | 10:30 a.m. | Friday |Yampa River State Park, 6185 W. U.S. Hwy. 40
- Animal tracks | 1 p.m. | Friday | Yampa River State Park
- Gyotaku (fish printing) | 3 p.m. | Friday | Yampa River State Park
- S’mores and Music with John Husband | 6:30 p.m. | Friday | Yampa River State Park
- Park Scavenger Hunt | 10:30 a.m. | Sunday | Yampa River State Park
- Learning with Leaves and Leaf Rubbings | 1:30 p.m. | Sunday | Yampa River State Park
- Part 1 Nocturnal Senses Program | 3:15 and 8 p.m. | Sunday | Yampa River State Park
Each week stay up to date with the list of programs and events by visiting the Happenings page. http://calendar.steamboattoday.com/events.aspx.
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