The Gazette's Colorado state and national parks series is your guide to exploring the diverse beauty of the Centennial State. Which Colorado park will you visit to hike, bike, boat or fish at next? Go to gazette.com/Colorado-State-
A closer look at Chatfield State Park.
Description: With plenty to do on land and water, the park is a bustling playground for Denverites. The prairie meets the South Platte River at this animal-friendly destination. Parking and corrals are reserved for equestrians who have a 3-mile loop trail to themselves, and horses can be rented at nearby Chatfield Stables. Dogs can run free in an open area spanning 69 acres; they otherwise must be leashed on the park's roughly 26-mile trail network. About 12 miles are concrete and accessible to handicapped people. Swimming and boating is popular in the summer, as is fishing and camping at 197 sites, all with electric hookups. Campgrounds for large groups are also available. On your visit, how about flying a model airplane? A designated area is complete with paved runways.
Activities: Hiking, biking, boating, horse riding, swimming, fishing, camping, birding
Wildlife: Deer, coyotes, red foxes, prairie dogs frequent among mammals, with occasional elk and black bears; rattlesnakes, garter snakes, snapping turtles, yellow mud turtles, bullfrogs, tiger salamanders among amphibians; bald and golden eagles on long list of birds; walleye, bass, perch, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill
Fun fact: Floods, some of them devastating, were common in the park's surrounding area before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building the Chatfield Dam in 1967
Address: 11500 N. Roxborough Park Road, Littleton 80125
Contact: 303-791-7275, email@example.com
Hours: Day use 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
Directions: Off Interstate 25 north, take exit for Castlegate Drive and follow to merge onto U.S. 85. Continue about 10 miles before exiting for Titan Parkway. Turn right onto Roxborough Park Road leading to park entrance.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE