There’s something for every type of outdoors person – from the fishing enthusiast and boater to the naturalist – at Barr Lake State Park, a short drive northeast of the Denver area.
Bicyclists of all ages and abilities, nature hikers and horseback riders enjoy the level 8.8-mile multi-use trail that circles the lake, passing by several wildlife viewing stations and the park’s wildlife refuge. More than 350 species of birds have been spotted in the park.
Numerous bald eagles winter at Barr Lake and one pair stays to nest and raise its young every year. Barr Lake’s Nature Center has displays about the park’s wildlife and you can have your questions answered by a naturalist.
Fishing enthusiasts and boaters, including kayakers and canoeists, enjoy the lake’s calm waters as powerboats are limited to electric trolling or gasoline motors 10 horsepower or less. Channel catfish, small and large-mouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, wiper and tiger muskie are among the species that inhabit the waters of Barr Lake. Get Colorado boating registration and regulation information.
Eagle video by Colorado State Parks, site videos by Colinda de Groen
Barr Lake State Park 13401 Picadilly Road Brighton, CO, 80603
Park Hours 5 AM – 10 PM, Fishing Is Allowed All Night
Office Hours Nature Center Is Open Monday Through Sunday, 9 am To 4 pm.
How To Get There
Barr Lake State Park is located 18 miles northeast of Denver. From the city, go east on I-76 and take exit 22 onto Bromley Lane. Turn right and go east on East 152nd Avenue for 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Picadilly Road and go two miles to the park entrance. Parking can be made at the nature center.
Suggested Equipment for Barr Lake State Park Colorado Adventures:
The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.
The most common fishes caught here are catfish, large-mouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, wiper, and tiger muskie.
All legal fishing methods are allowed. Mornings and evenings are the best time to fish due to levels of activity. Ice fishing can be done in the winter.
It’s better and more effective to conduct fishing while in a boat.
Barr Lake offers 1,950 surface acres of quiet, calm water. The lake is divided into northern and southern sections by a line of buoys. The southern half of the lake is a dedicated wildlife refuge. To protect wildlife and wildlife habitat, boating and fishing are not permitted south of the buoy line.
The northern half of the lake is open to several water sports including boating, canoeing and sailboarding. Only sailboats, hand-propelled craft, and boats with electric trolling motors or gasoline motors of 10 horsepower or less are permitted on Barr Lake.
A boat ramp is located adjacent to the north parking lot. For the safety of park visitors, swimming, wading and diving are prohibited.
Barr Lake is owned by Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company and is used as an irrigation storage. Because of this, Barr Lake’s water levels can fluctuate throughout the summer months. Barr Lake is a relatively shallow body of water with high nutrient levels and because of this, Barr Lake often experiences blue green algae blooms during the hot summer months from mid July through September. Please check the Barr Lake conditions page for the latest water conditions. You may also contact the park office for current conditions at 303-659-6005.
A bird watcher’s paradise, Barr Lake State Park offers an expansive boardwalk with beautiful gazebos and benches for unparalleled wildlife viewing. The refuge is a large section of the lake that is off limits for boats and watersports, so all kinds of wildlife have space and peace to thrive. Prominent species there include eagles, pelicans, double-crested cormorants, blue herons and grebes. The park-facilitated osprey nest offers an amazing glimpse at the beginning of the magnificent birds’ life cycle.
Stop by the nature center to see all our feathered friends at our bird feeders.
Archery range open sunrise to sunset; the range is FREE to use. A park pass is required for entry into the park. There are 12 lanes from 10-100 yards and one Broadhead lane.
Our 3D range is open!
Standard practice tips only, no broadheads allowed.
Crossbows only allowed on the static range, on user supplied targets only.
The 8.8-mile Perimeter Trail is open to hikers, horseback riders and bicyclists and follows the perimeter of the lake.
The road across the top of the dam (Dam Crest Trail) is open to hikers and bicycles except on Wednesdays and Saturdays from October through February 16th due to hunting.
Bicyclists are encouraged to use bikes with thorn-proof tires because the trails are not paved and thorns are prevalent.
Leave No Trace
Colorado State Parks are proud community partners of LEAVE NO TRACE CENTER FOR OUTDOOR ETHICS. Everyone is advised to comply with the following:
PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE
TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES
DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY
LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND
MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS
BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER VISITOR
Barr Lake State Park is a must-visit state park in Colorado. Check out other state parks in Colorado here.