Recreating at local state parks
Although ice-fishing continues to be one of the strongest allures of local state parks this time of year, many offer guided snowshoe tours and weekly events like Stagecoach's Cabin Fever Day. Contact the local parks to learn more about their recreation opportunities. Activities require the purchase of a day pass.
Stagecoach State Park: 970-736-2436
Steamboat Lake and Pearl Lake state parks: 970-879-3922
Elkhead Reservoir: 970-276-2061
Steamboat Springs Nine-year-old Teagan Barry and the other kids who were celebrating Cabin Fever Day at Stagecoach Reservoir had only one rule to follow:
Don't aim the snowballs at faces.
With that in mind, the kids spent Sunday morning launching off a sledding hill that shot them onto the snow-covered surface of the frozen reservoir.
Then, they got a crash course in making a bird feeder out of recycled goods.
“It's awesome because you get to do your own thing,” Teagan said as her friend Jack Bube set off to build a new jump on the sledding hill.
Sunday's Cabin Fever Day served as a reminder that there are plenty of things to do in Routt County's local state parks in these final weeks of winter aside from the popular sport of ice-fishing.
At Stagecoach, the offerings include free snowshoe rentals, dog sled rides and miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that go around the reservoir.
The park also continues to offer four camping spaces with access to electricity.
Up to the north at Steamboat Lake and Pearl Lake state parks are similar options for snowmobilers, skiers, anglers and kids looking to play in the snow.
Steamboat Lake State Park never hesitates to post photos of freshly groomed trails, deep powder and the occasional raptor rescue on its Facebook page.
On Sunday in South Routt, the mission was simple: Get families to have some fun outside for a morning and have the kids learn something new.
“I think days like this just help people realize there's so many things to do around here,” Stagecoach State Park senior ranger Kathleen Fischer said.
The third annual Cabin Fever Day in South Routt County was hosted by the state park and sponsored by Friends of Stagecoach, a relatively new nonprofit that quickly has made its mark on the park.
The group supports the grooming of the cross-country trails and has plans this summer to host a series of concerts on a beach at the reservoir. It even got close to hosting movies outdoors on a giant projector there last year.
The nonprofit's wish list includes adding new skate-ski trails and adding a fireworks show to the park's offerings in July.
In the meantime, local kids report the park continues to serve as a good playground for them in winter and summer.
“This is so fun,” 6-year-old Aylen Dalke said before she barrel-rolled down the sledding hill onto the reservoir.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com