Time to get ready for an exciting fall season at Barr Lake State Park
CPW News Release
BRIGHTON, Colo. – Barr Lake State Park has something to offer for just about every type of outdoor enthusiast along the Front Range, and with fall approaching, it is coming into its peak season.
“We are 25 minutes east of Denver, but we call Barr Lake the oasis on the plains,” said Michelle Seubert, the state park’s manager since 2008. The park located along I-76 just outside of Brighton has become more of a Front Range attraction over the years.
It offers a wide array in activities. Bird watching is a popular one, with the bald eagle as the main attraction, but users also come to kayak, paddleboard, fish, hike, bicycle, horseback ride and participate in nature study.
“We are the bed and breakfast for birds,” Seubert said, pointing out that over 370 different species of birds have been seen at the park.
Fishing in the fall is good for perch, wiper and bass. With archery hunting season recently opening, the park’s archery range has been in high demand. Or maybe a day trip to a unique place to pause and recreate a kinship with nature would suite one’s fancy.
The park has focused efforts on adding amenities and engaging the community under Seubert, who works closely with the Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce.
Barr Lake will be adding a 100-foot ADA accessible fishing pier with construction starting this October. There are a number of boardwalks that take you up to the water from the 8.8-mile, multi-use trail that circles the lake.
Waterfowl hunting had already been established in the park, but starting in September dove hunting will be added. Barr Lake is the only state park that allows hunting, but also features a wildlife refuge on its grounds.
Many of the community outreach efforts are thanks to the Friends of Barr Lake, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Barr Lake State Park and its endeavors to educate the public.
A popular series this summer was the Ladies Day Outdoors free clinics, four of which have already taken place and a fifth – the Sept. 10 Big Game Scouting seminar – still to come.
The fourth annual Fiestas Patrias cultural festival is taking place on Sept. 15 and on Sept. 30 will be the Passport to Every Day Race, a powerful and poignant performance by poet Norma Johnson and clarinetist Dexter Payne about living every day in a racially bound society. Those two events were initiated by Barr Lake’s diversity, equity and inclusivity council.
School field trips often bring children into the state park in the fall and spring for an educational experience in nature.
“It is just getting into the community and letting them know what we are about and all the really cool things they could see at Barr Lake or even in their backyard,” Seubert said of the grassroots efforts.
Barr Lake State Park provides a sanctuary for both wildlife and humans. It became known for its fishing and bird-watching areas, but is developing into a park with all sorts of recreation and educational activities.
Upcoming Events at Barr Lake State Park
Sept. 1 – Dove Hunting opens (mourning, white-winged doves)
Sept. 8 – 20th annual Barr Lake Fall Birding Festival
Sept. 10 – Ladies Day Outdoors, Big Game Scouting
Sept. 15 – Fiestas Patrias/Mexican Independence Day
Sept. 22 – Bark in the Park
Oct. 13 – Sixth annual Harvest Festival
Oct. 27 – Seventh annual Halloween Trail
Nov. 11 – Veterans Day Celebration (Federal observation is on Nov. 12, CPW free day is Nov. 11)
Dec. 15 – Eighth annual Holiday Trail/Chili Cook-Off & Santa Visit
Dec. 27 – Second annual Pancakes and Pajamas (plus a holiday movie)
Feb. 2 – Eagle Festival