Thursday, November 10, 2005
Hayden About 22 miles west of Steamboat's resort atmosphere is the small community of Hayden, which offers numerous winter activities in quiet settings.
Cross-country skiers need not go far to find fast and fun loops that will put color in their cheeks and get their heart pumping.
The closest option to downtown Hayden is a one-mile groomed trail in Dry Creek Park just south of the Routt County Fairgrounds off of Poplar Street.
The town purchased a new grooming machine last year to maintain the loop. Staff with the Parks and Recreation Department groom the trail after each snow, department supervisor J.D. Paul said.
The town also is considering grooming a system of trails in the Sagewood subdivision, he said.
Large open areas in Dry Creek Park also are good for snowshoers who just want to get out for a quick jaunt. "Dry Creek Park is kind of our go-to place," Paul said.
Another groomed ski trail, about 1 mile long, circles the Yampa Rive State Park headquarters about two miles west of Hayden on U.S. Highway 40.
The park also plans to offer ice skating on a portable rink or on a pond, tourist assistant Vickie Runnion said.
A state parks pass or $5 parks fee is required to recreate at the park. For information on hours and activities, call 276-2061.
Cold weather permitting, the Town of Hayden also plans to operate its portable ice rink in Town Park on Third Street.
The nearest access to National Forest land is California Park north of Hayden and the Dunkley Pass area, which is south of Hayden in Rio Blanco County. Both places are favorite areas for snowmobilers and skiers, though road access may depend on snow depth and conditions.
When the snow is deep, children also flock to the town's favorite sledding area on the hill behind Hayden Valley Elementary, which is on Poplar Street near the fairgrounds.