When it comes to exploring waterways, the lakes and rivers in and around Lone Tree can’t be beat. Whether you’re hoping to take the family on a fishing trip or go on a kayaking adventure, there are plenty of scenic and fun places to choose from. So pack up your boating or fishing gear, get your water-resistant shoes on, and get ready to go. But first, read on to discover some of our favorite waterways to visit with our own kids.
Cherry Creek State Park
Image by Adam Sherez using Unsplash License
Located about 20 miles outside of Lone Tree in Aurora, Cherry Creek State Park is centered around an 880 surface acre reservoir and features a prairie environment with low-lying, rolling hills. Families can take boats, kayaks, sailboards, and jet skis out onto the lake during boating season, which begins March 1. If you have a fishing license, you can scout the lake for different fish to either keep or catch and release. In the winter months, you can even go ice fishing.
Visit during the summer to gain access to the state park’s roped-off sandy shore and swimming area, which can be a perfect place for a water fun day. Picnic facilities are located throughout the park. Other great family-friendly features of this park include over 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, multiple group campsites, and many opportunities for bird-watching.
South Platte River
Soak up the natural beauty of shimmering waters, rocky formations, and towering pine trees at the South Platte River. This river is a popular destination among locals and tourists alike that some years ago, it received a Gold Medal Waters status from the Colorado Wildlife Commission. There are many amazing spots to fish along this river, including the world-renowned fly-fishing spot in Deckers and the catch-and-release Gold Medal Waters themselves below the Chessman Dam.
Families interested in kayaking can traverse along either the North Fork or the South Platte River. Canoes and inflatable crafts are also permitted as long as you steer clear of the North Fork region. After a long morning or afternoon of waterway activities, take a break at one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the area. You can even camp at this beautiful destination overnight to prolong your waterway adventures.
Bingham Lake Park
About 15 miles east of Lone Tree rests the peaceful landscape known as Bingham Lake Park. Although currently closed to boating, Bingham Lake is a great place to take the whole family on a fishing trip. This lake is the private property of Pinery Water & Wastewater District (PW&WD), so visitors should adhere to the site-specific rules rather than the regulations related to Colorado fishing licenses. Fishers can use live bait here and the PW&WD encourages visitors to use catch and release practices.
You can also explore the natural beauty surrounding the lake by strolling, hiking, or biking along the trails. When you’re ready for a rest, you can settle down at one of the many picnic tables to watch the many species of birds who call this location home or enjoy a packed lunch.
Chatfield State Park
Interested in exploring the Foothills Southwest of Denver while cruising or bobbing along the water? Then you may want to go adventure through Chatfield State Park. During boating season, families can choose between jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and other water-travel activities. You can even rent a boat. In the summer months, you can also enjoy swimming or hanging out on the sandy shores at the designated swim beach.
Parents with fishing licenses will delight in the range of fish stopped within the lake, including yellow perch, sunfish, walleye, bluegill, and channel catfish. If you don’t already have a fishing license, you can easily purchase one at the campground offices. Visitors during the summer months may especially love the number of fish that populate the lake, while families who come in the winter can enjoy the unique pursuit of ice fishing.
Cache La Poudre River
At Cache La Poudre River in Fort Collins, you can cruise along the water while soaking up the natural beauty of unique rock formations and majestic cliffs. Here you can also find diverse stunning flora like sagebrush and mountain mahogany. This river is the only one in Colorado designated as a “Wild and Scenic” river. Whether your chosen water sport is whitewater rafting, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding, you’re sure to enjoy the journey.
The Cache La Poudre River also makes it incredibly easy for families to go fishing. There are many spots along the highway where you can park and settle down at a scenic fishing hole. This river is rich with trout and other fish species native to the region. Other outstanding features at the Cache La Poudre River include miles of trails for bikers and hikers, dynamic camping sites, scenic views, and a sprawl of picnic tables.
Along the upper part of the Colorado River is the exquisite Gore Canyon, the perfect site for Intrepid water travelers. Whether you pick a raft or a kayak, you’re sure to have a ride filled with both exciting thrills and natural beauty. If you want to go boating, it may be best to visit the Gore Canyon with older kids, as the river terrain here can be more unpredictable. Consider checking out the river during one of the popular river celebrations, like the River Festival.
Traveling with younger kids or less experienced paddlers? Then check out the new Gore Canyon Whitewater Park at the Pumphouse Recreation Site, which is a “park and play” area for kayakers, boaters, and stand-up paddle boarders. A few local vendors offer boat rentals and guided tours near here. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy fishing in this stunning canyon. Thousands of fish inhabit these waters, including kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, mackinaw salmon, and German brown trout.
As you can see, the Lone Tree area offers tons of great family-friendly waterways for both the relaxed fisher and the more energetic kayaker. Did our list skip over one of your family’s favorite places to fish, kayak, or just lounge by the water? Then feel free to contact us, as we’re always excited to learn about more waterways to explore.