By Randy Hampton
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will celebrate Colorado Day, Monday, Aug. 5, by offering free entrance at all 42 state parks.
Colorado Day was created by the state legislature to mark the anniversary of statehood, granted in 1876 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Free entrance at the state parks is an annual Colorado Day tradition.
“Colorado Day is an opportunity for everyone to get outside and experience the diverse natural beauty and recreational activities that all of the 42 state parks have to offer,” said Gary Thorson, assistant director for information and education for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “This day is also the agency’s opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all of our residents and visitors who enjoy our state parks for their continued support.”
All other fees, including camping and reservations, will remain in effect on Aug. 5.
The state parks, scattered throughout Colorado, showcase the state’s diverse landscapes, including the prairies of the eastern plains at John Martin Reservoir State Park, the alpine beauty of the mountains at Sylvan Lake State Park near Eagle and the unique geological landscapes at Roxborough State Park. There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy Colorado’s rivers at James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park near Grand Junction, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area in Salida and Yampa River State Park near Craig. There’s plenty of outdoor fun at the reservoirs at Trinidad Lake State Park, North Sterling State Park, Lathrop State Park near Walsenburg and Navajo State Park near Pagosa Springs.
Chatfield State Park and Cherry Creek State Park are the most visited parks, but Colorado Day is a chance to sample the trails at Lory State Park near Fort Collins and the beauty at Rifle Falls State Park and Paonia State Park.
There are a huge variety of recreational opportunities at all Colorado State Parks. Float your boat or kayak, or raft a river. View diverse wildlife and a multitude of bird species. Catch fish, hike, explore by geocaching, ride some of the best OHV trails in the state or go horseback riding. Teach your children to fish, camp or learn about nature. Climb a challenging rock face, fly a kite or ride your bike.
Come play all day, enjoy a picnic and stay for the sunset. This Colorado Day, be sure to get out to a state park for a fun-filled day that the whole family can enjoy.