Trading snowshoes for hiking boots

Summertime means playtime at Denver Water’s reservoirs, canals and canyons.

By Kim Unger

Now that winter is behind us, it’s time to swap out those parkas and snowboards and replace them with life jackets and hiking boots. This seasonal ritual is one of the many reasons why Colorado ranks No. 1 in physical activity.

Plus, there’s no shortage of opportunities for Coloradans to experience the great outdoors. If you’re seeking a quick getaway to pump-up your heart rate this summer, look no further — it’s as easy as taking a step into our backyard.

Here are four breathtaking locations:


Williams Fork ReservoirWilliams_Fork_camper

Disconnect from electronic distractions and reconnect with nature. Williams Fork Reservoir is just the place to take in the beauty of Colorado. Free camping is available for tents, trailers and RVs on a first-come, first-served basis. Enjoy boating, kayaking, fishing and hiking by day; campfire songs and stargazing at night.



Waterton_Canyon_StrontiaWaterton Canyon

A short drive past Chatfield Reservoir will take you to the trailhead for Waterton Canyon. The canyon offers a 6.5-mile hike to Strontia Springs Dam. It also connects to the Colorado Trail, which continues above the reservoir and all the way down to Durango. This is a great area to get the family out for bicycling, horseback riding and picnicking. Keep your eyes out for wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer and more than 40 species of birds. For the protection of the bighorn sheep, dogs are not allowed in the canyon, so leave Fido at home for this one.


High Line CanalHighline

Designated as a National Landmark Trail, the 66-mile-long canal offers opportunities for hiking, biking, jogging, light walks and horseback riding. The canal winds through many parks with picnic tables. You can pick up the “Guide to the High Line Canal Trail” at select local bookstores or their online sites. Check out our online map.






dillonDillon Reservoir

Just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel sits the Town of Dillon, home to Dillon Reservoir, which is overflowing with recreational opportunities. You can hop in a canoe, kayak, sailboat or motorboat and enjoy water activities on the reservoir. If you don’t own a boat, the Dillon and Frisco marinas offer rentals. Fishing is allowed in the reservoir and the Blue River, and enthusiasts can catch arctic char. Dillon includes 344 campsites, and there are trails for hiking and bicycling. Throw in a few rounds of disc golf at the Lake Dillon course for a great way to enjoy the beauty of Summit County in a day, or even a weekend.


No matter what level of activity your family enjoys the many recreational hot spots in the Denver Water system will provide you with a summer bursting with outdoor fun, and adventure.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Fletch on June 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    You say water ski but you aren’t allowed to swim in any of those bodies of water…


    • Posted by Denver Water on June 13, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Yes, good catch. No water skiing, even if it was a fun headline. Thanks for calling that out.


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