Paddle Boarding Adventures in Park County, Colorado

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Park County, Colorado, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and if you’re a paddle boarder, you’re in for a treat. With a variety of stunning lakes and reservoirs, this area offers a range of experiences for both beginners and seasoned paddle boarders. Here’s a guide to some of the best paddle boarding spots in Park County.

Wellington Lake (Bailey, CO)

Located in Bailey, Wellington Lake is a picturesque destination perfect for paddle boarding. Surrounded by lush forests and towering peaks, this 167  acre lake provides a serene environment for a day on the water. The calm waters make it ideal for beginners, and the scenic beauty ensures a memorable experience for everyone. The water is often glassy and smooth, which makes for gorgeous reflections of The Castle, a prominent land feature at Wellington Lake. Besides paddle boarding, Wellington Lake also offers opportunities for fishing, hiking, and camping, making it a versatile spot for a family outing.

At Wellington Lake, all watercraft must be hand-launched. This means that you must be able to lift your vessel out of your vehicle and place it in the water in order to use it. They do not allow boat trailers to back into the water. Electric trolling motors are allowed. Gas motors are not permitted. Vessels must not create a wake. All guests planning to explore the lake must have life jackets.

Antero Reservoir (Hartsel, CO)

Source: Tom Wilberding

Antero Reservoir, located near Hartsel, is another excellent location for paddle boarding. Known for its clear waters and abundant fish species, this reservoir is a favorite among anglers and water sports enthusiasts alike. “Geologists believe Antero Reservoir occupies the site of a former lake-bed. While Green Lake lies submerged within the reservoir, an extinct volcano, Buffalo Peaks, looms above.” Paddle boarders can enjoy the expansive water surface and the beautiful mountain views that surround the reservoir. 

Although waters can be relatively calm, it can get very windy very fast at Antero Reservoir. Denver Water recommends that you wear a leash when using your paddle board here.

Spinney Mountain Reservoir (Hartsel, CO)

Spinney Mountain Reservoir, also near Hartsel, is renowned for its fantastic fishing opportunities, but it also offers a great environment for paddle boarding. Stunning scenery and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit spot for outdoor lovers.

Keep in mind that at Spinney Mountain Reservoir water can come up really fast! Paddle boarding here is allowed close to shore. When using any small vessels, life jackets are necessary and required for those under 13 at all times. You must have a whistle and sound making device like a horn on you, and your name and address must be written in permanent fashion somewhere above the water line on your vessel.

Jefferson Lake (Jefferson, CO)

Nestled in the high country, Jefferson Lake is a hidden gem for paddle boarders. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and scenic backdrop of forested hills and peaks create a perfect setting for paddle boarding. The area is less crowded compared to other popular destinations, offering a peaceful and secluded experience. The lake is also a great spot for fishing, hiking, and picnicking, making it an ideal destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Eleven Mile Reservoir (Lake George, CO)

Eleven Mile Reservoir is one of the larger bodies of water in Park County and is a popular destination for a variety of water sports, including paddle boarding. The reservoir’s vast surface area and stunning scenery make it a favorite among paddle boarders. The clear waters and scenic vistas provide a perfect backdrop for a day on the water. Besides paddle boarding, Eleven Mile Reservoir is also known for its excellent fishing, boating, and camping facilities.

At Eleven Mile Reservoir, as of 6/25/2024, you are not supposed to get in the water if you decide to go paddle boarding. If you do fall in, get on your board as quickly as you can. Current temperatures can cause hypothermia to set in very quickly. 

Places where paddle boarding is NOT allowed in Park County, Colorado:

  • Fairplay Beach (Fairplay, CO)
  • Tarryall Reservoir (Jefferson, CO)
  • Bayou Salado Reservoir (Lake George, CO)

Some safety tips to follow when you go paddle boarding:

  • Be aware of how cold the water can be at any given time.
  • If you fall off when temperatures are cold, get back onto your paddle board as quickly as possible
  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Use a leash when on your paddle board
  • Carry a whistle or sound making device like a horn with you in case of emergencies
  • Write your name and address permanently on your vessel somewhere above the water line

Park County, Colorado, offers a diverse range of paddle boarding destinations, each with its unique charm and beauty. Whether you’re looking for a serene and secluded spot or a larger reservoir with plenty of space to explore, Park County has something for everyone. So grab your paddle board and head out to these stunning locations for an unforgettable adventure on the water. Enjoy the beauty of Colorado’s great outdoors and make the most of your paddle boarding experience in Park County. 🌊🏞️

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