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Navajo State Park welcomes guest speakers

If you think that time spent with dear old Dad is time spent fishing or camping together, then Navajo State Park is the place for you. In addition to partaking in your favorite outdoor pursuits, several activities and special guest speakers will add to the fun of Father’s Day weekend at the park.

On Saturday, June 18, John Porco, a volunteer docent on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, will talk about his favorite topic — The Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad. He plans to discuss the history of the line and its operation over the years, particularly as it applies to the Arboles area. Lots of wonderful photos, both of the railroad in its heyday and of its current traces, will highlight the program. John resides in Pagosa Springs and has been a railroad fan for nearly 60 years with a particular interest in the Durango & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge. Join John for this special presentation at 4 p.m. in the Visitor Center Conference Room.

A little later in the evening, at 7 p.m., assistant hatchery manager Riley Morris will give another special presentation entitled, “The Durango Fish Hatchery: Past and Present.” Riley will talk about the history of the hatchery and its present operations. He will also feature some time and photos to discuss the fish of Navajo Lake. This fun power-point presentation will also be held in the Visitor Center Conference Room.

If you want to get out into the park a bit more, then join the park naturalist on Saturday or Sunday morning for some time on the trails. Saturday’s hike will emphasize the identification and sightings of the fabulous birds found at Navajo. Meet at the Sambrito Wetlands trailhead at 9 a.m., and bring your binoculars. Sunday’s hike will take in the colors and smells of summer blooms along the South Piedra trail. Meet at 10 a.m. at the north end of the Windsurf Beach Campground parking area for this 1.5 hour, two-mile hike.

All events in the park are free with a Colorado State Parks pass. Call 883-2208 for more information or log on to the park’s website at

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