Colorado has a handful of reservoirs scattered throughout the Denver metro area that are adequate substitutes for the lack of water and ocean that this state, well, lacks. We actually have lots of lakes and reservoirs across the whole state but I sadly haven’t been to most of them so you’ll just have to use Uncover Colorado’s list for future trip planning.
The reservoir that I go to the most around here is Cherry Creek Reservoir. Also a state park, you’ll pay $11 (as of August 2021) per car to get in (bike or walk in for free). This space draws people for a multitude of reasons – water activities including boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, and swimming; lots of paved and unpaved trails for both hikers and bikers; a field to fly model airplanes; an area for shooting guns; and a dog park. Plus, a variety of birds call this land home so if you’re into birds (as is only right), then maybe you’ll spot an eagle or pelican during your visit.
The reservoir is in the southeast part of Denver and has two different entrances to make it slightly more accessible for people. If you enter through the west entrance you’ll find a nicely sized beach with a marina right next to it. There are also lots of picnic tables with grills next to them behind the beach on a hill. If you enter through the northeast entrance you’ll find lots of trails as well as another beach area, although this one is smaller. The gun and archery ranges and dog park are towards the south. The park is a pretty great place to bike because of all the trails and because cars tend to go slower while there. So if you need or want to practice but don’t want to ride on the busy Cherry Creek trail, I’d give this place a shot. It’s also a decent place to walk and is kind of in between walking at a park and going on a hike in the mountains. You’re secluded from the city but you’re still only minutes away from everything. I think that’s why I like this place so much. I can hang out on a beach and I can walk under trees and by creeks and feel at peace. And on a clear day, you can see the Rocky Mountains and that view is just breathtaking. Bring a friend or just yourself and take in a bit of nature, can’t go wrong with that, can you?