Participating SOLE State Parks and Fish Hatcheries

Denver Metro and Northeast Colorado

Brighton

Barr Lake State Park offers a remarkable opportunity to observe several types of wildlife, including coyote, deer, amphibians, and many species of fish. This park has some of the greatest bird viewing opportunities in the state with a diversity of more than 350 species of birds. The park even has a residential nesting pair of bald eagles and offers views of an osprey nest, sights your students will observe with awe!

Bellvue

Located near the Cache la Poudre River and Watson Lake State Wildlife Areas outside of Ft. Collins, the Bellvue-Watson hatchery is one of several cold water hatchery facilities in Colorado. Bellvue-Watson raises around 300,000 catchable and 1.5 million sub-catchable trout annually. Species raised at this facility include rainbow trout, rainbow/cutthroat trout hybrids (cutbows), cutthroat trout, lake/brook trout hybrids (splake), and brown trout. 

Franktown

Castlewood Canyon State Parks hosts a good number of trails and and encompasses 2,136 acres at elevations of 6,200 to 6,600 feet. Explore the parks varied ecosystem that includes grasslands, shrublands, riparian areas, foothills-conifer steppe, and caprock. Amazing views of magnificently eroded rock bordering the canyon and the incredible volunteers and staff make for an unforgettable field trip!

Littleton

A field trip to Chatfield provides scenic views of the neighboring foothills and Platte River Valley. 350 bird species frequent Chatfield, some are permanent residents that can be seen year round, while others are only seen certain times of year as they migrate through.  Historic treasures can also be observed in this park. Bring your students on over and explore the areas many wonders!

Aurora

Welcome to Denver’s spacious, natural playground! Anchored around an 880 surface acre reservoir, Cherry Creek State Park's natural prairie environment provides a home for herds of white-tail and mule deer, coyotes, foxes, pheasant, rabbits, and a variety of bird species. There are also a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities available that make this park an exciting location to bring your school.

Fort Collins

Hidden in the foothills twenty minutes west of Fort Collins, Lory State Park has much to offer. The 2,591 acre park provides 26 miles of relatively gentle trails. The park's landscape consists of features such as sandstone hogbacks, grassy meadows, shrubby hillsides, ponderosa pine forests, and unique rock outcroppings. Arthur’s Rock, a jutting granite formation that overlooks the Fort Collins area, is a sight your students might have a chance to see that they will not soon forget!

Poudre River Hatchery

Bellvue

The Poudre River Hatchery requires lays several miles up the scenic Poudre Canyon at an elevation of 7,700 ft. This hatchery produces millions of rainbow and cutthroat trout eggs each year and stocks around 50,000 trout in public water bodies throughout the front range each year. Bring your students to see huge fish in the brood ponds and learn about the important role hatcheries play in Colorado fisheries.

Roxborough

In addition to being a state park, Roxborough also holds the labels of Colorado Natural Area and a National Natural Landmark. Nestled between the plains and mountains with close to 4000-acres, the park is filled with dramatic red-rock formations, distinct plant communities, and a wide array of wildlife. This park is a special place to bring school groups with over a billion years worth of geologic history, representation of several ecosystems, and programs designed with the state education standards in mind to accommodate your curriculum needs.

Pine

From high grassy meadows at 8,100 feet to soaring granite cliffs over that reach 10,000 feet, Staunton State Park's stunning geology features, unique soils, pristine water features, and climate support rare and unexpected plant communities and a rich diversity of wildlife. Students will enjoy a secluded atmosphere that differs greatly from CPW’s urban-located parks. 

Firestone

St. Vrain State Park hosts 236 acres of water and 604 acres of recreational land making it a great place to expose kids to the outdoors! Breathtaking views of Longs Peak and the Rockies along with opportunities to see various wildlife that live in the park are just a couple of the reasons this park is an ideal location for a school field trip.

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Northwest Colorado

Glenwood Springs

Located 2 miles north of Glenwood Springs on Mitchell Creek, the Glenwood Springs Hatchery hosts a wide variety of fish in various life stages. Species raised at this hatchery include rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, and arctic grayling. The hatchery also contains brood stock of rainbow and cutthroat trout and stocks around 3 million sub-catchable fish annually.

Fruita

An oasis in the desert, Highline Lake State Park is the recreation epicenter for the Grand Valley. With two lakes, lush grass areas, trails, and impressive stands of trees the park offers a diverse experience no matter the season. Miles of trails, abundant birds and wildlife, and an engaging visitor center make this park one that your students will certainly enjoy!

Grand Junction

James M. Robb, the Colorado River State Park, is made up of 5 sections or "pearls" that allow for premium access to the Colorado River.  The park hosts diverse wildlife, including many bird species, and hiking/walking trails.  The riverside views and engaging educational programs will make for a fun-filled visit for your students!

Rifle

The largest state-owned and operated trout-producing hatchery in Colorado, Rifle Falls is a great place to bring students. This hatchery raises a wide variety of cold-water species including Snake River cutthroat, brook, brown, and other cutthroat trout. This hatchery stocks trout in the fingerling and catchable life stages in stream sections, lakes, and reservoirs across western Colorado.

Steamboat Springs

Stagecoach State Park is filled with vistas and views that provide a scenic backdrop to the 820-acre reservoir. Visit this great recreation area in the lush Yampa Valley and your students will not be disappointed. A large wetland creation project constructed along the river provides engaging interpretive opportunities. There are also several species of wildlife that frequent the park including mule deer, elk, cottontail rabbit, jackrabbit, beaver, red fox, coyote, badger, ground squirrel, and muskrat.

Walden

The ultimate in rugged Colorado, State Forest State Park offers visitors 71,000 acres of forest, jagged peaks, alpine lakes, abundant wildlife, and miles of trails. Moose are the park's claim to fame with more than 600 living in and around the park. With terrain and views that rival that of Rocky Mountain National Park, this park is one that is very memorable for all who visit.
 

Eagle

Sylvan Lake State Park provides a scenic getaway surrounded by the White River National Forest. Located at an elevation of 8,500 feet, visitors will enjoy panoramic vistas and a peaceful, quiet atmosphere during most times of the year. The aspen forest in the park provides habitat for several species of mammals including species of voles and shrews, red fox, marmots, mule deer, elk, black bear, pine marten, coyote, porcupine, cottontail rabbit, and beaver. Your students will learn lots and gain an appreciation for Colorado's great outdoors at this park.

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Southeast Colorado

Salida

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is located in the San Luis Valley and offers an excellent view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Arkansas River is the most celebrated feature of this park. There are numerous ways the river can be incorporated into a lesson, but this is not your only program option. Abundant wildlife, unique ecosystems and geology, and a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities also lend to possible field trip topics that your students will love.  

Nathrop

The Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit, a cold water facility, raises catchable (~10 inch) rainbow trout; about 700,000 annually to give you an idea! Fish are kept in different structures as they go through their life stages. Students will have a chance to view concrete raceways filled with smaller fish and dirt ponds where adults fish are typically kept. Students may even get a free bucket of fish chow to feed the growing trout!

Colorado Springs

Formerly the JL Ranch, Cheyenne Mountain State Park lies beneath the eastern flank of Cheyenne Mountain and borders the grassy plains. This park encompasses the stunning transition of plains to peaks. A relatively undisturbed and unfragmented landscape provides diverse wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can explore several ecosystems including short-grass prairies, gambel oak woodlands, and ponderosa pine/douglas fir forests. There are 18 trails that make up over 21 miles to explore. This park holds endless opportunities for students to engage in the outdoors.

 

Las Animas

Sometimes called a sapphire on the plains, John Martin is a peaceful paradise that supports a diverse community of wildlife and is filled with rich history. Petroglyphs in the area suggest Native Americans camped here once upon a time. Lt. Zebulon Pike, Kit Carson, and many other explorers are also believed to have traveled through the area along the Arkansas River. Years after the initial explorers came through, traders and settlers traveled on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail; remnants of this historic trail remain on the north shore of the park. Bring your students and see what treasures are waiting to be discovered at this park!

Walsenburg

Lathrop State Park, ​Colorado’s first state park, is made up of 1,594 acres of recreational enjoyment in Southern Colorado. Hidden among the trees and yucca are mule deer, rabbits, squirrels, and a variety of birds and waterfowl. Your students will enjoy gazing at the majestic Spanish Peaks that tower at 13,610 and 12,669 feet in elevation.The peaks will surely inspire visitors with their grand beauty, geological interest, and historical legends.

Pueblo

Lake Pueblo State Park contains over 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline, and almost 10,000 acres of land. The almost always sunny skies, mild year-round climate,  and miles of trail make discovering the beauty inside the park easy to do. The Arkansas River can be explored below the dam with the park's many trails and multiple mountain peaks are visible from within the park. Add in the great educational programs provided by the parks and  there's no wonder that the park is a favorite destination for schools.

Mt. Shavano Hatchery

Salida

The Mt. Shavano Hatchery produces over 400,000 Whirling Disease Negative catchable rainbow trout and around 2.6 million subcatchable trout and kokanee salmon. In addition to rainbow trout and kokanee salmon, Mt. Shavano also also raises Snake River cutthroat trout and cutbow (rainbow/cutthroat hybrid) trout. The Mt. Ouray Hatchery, which produces subcatchable rainbow trout and kokanee salmon,  and the Salida Isolation Unit, which produces Greenback and Rio grande cutthroat, are also operated by Mt. Shavano. 

Woodland Park