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moon over the rockies at barr lake state parkBarr Lake State Park is a state park in Colorado located in Brighton, and is about 27 miles northeast of the city of Denver. The park offers hiking, birding, biking, and boating with great views of Barr Lake.


There are a number of things to do available to Barr Lake State Park explorers.

Here are just a few of the many activities at Barr Lake park:

Archery At Barr Lake State Park

Barr Lake State Park is home to a 13-lane archery range, with 12 10-100 yard lanes and one broadhead lane. Their range is open from sunrise to sunset and does allow crossbows on the static range, though you must supply your own target. As is standard for most archery ranges, you must use practice tips: no broadheads.

Biking At Barr Lake State Park

Perimeter Trail is an 8.8-mile trail that is accessible for bikers, as well as many other forms of transit. Dam Crest Trail takes the rider across the top of the dam for a scenic view, though the trail is closed for a portion of the winter months due to hunting.

It is worth noting that the trails and roads around Barr Lake State Park are not paved, and riders should be prepared for thorns and other tire hazards while biking.

Birding At Barr Lake State Park

Bird watchers will find themselves right at home in the park. Not only are there several gazebos and benches for peak bird and wildlife viewing, there is also a boardwalk that makes for a nice, leisurely stroll through the gorgeous natural scenery that makes up this park. A portion of the lake is set aside as a natural sanctuary, so visitors can see eagles, pelicans, double-crested cormorants, grebes, blue herons, and more on their walk. The park is even home to an osprey nest, as well as several park-operated feeders, so you can get a better chance to see these magnificent species in action.

Boating At Barr Lake State Park

Barr Lake State Park is open for boating during the warmer months of the year, as well as paddleboarding and other water activities. It should be noted that anyone looking to go boating on Barr Lake or anywhere in Colorado should check out the state and local boating and water vehicle guidelines, and be prepared to check for any invasive flora on your equipment before taking to the water.

Be advised that boating and other water activities are not allowed in the wildlife refuge area of the park.

Hiking At Barr Lake State Park

There are several main hiking trails at Barr Lake State Park. These trails range in focus from hiking and horseback riding to biking and wildlife viewing, so be aware of the various restrictions before making your way to the park.

Off-roading vehicles (Off-highway vehicles or OHV for those in Colorado) are not allowed in the park, regardless of season or trail.

Here are some of the trails at Barr Lake State Park:

  • Perimeter Trail – This trail is open to hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and casual strolls. This trail includes the Gazebo Boardwalk and can be broken up into smaller treks for varrying difficulty. It is worth noting that this trail is largely unpaved, and the area can be home to thorns and other potential hazards along the road. Length: 8.8 miles Degree of Difficulty: varries
  • Niedrach Nature Trail – Beginning at the Nature Center, this short trail leads along the shore of the lake, through a field, and across the boardwalk. Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Prairie Welcome Trail – One of the newest trails in the park, this trail splits at several locations and is ideal for the wildlife enthusiast, as it has several viewing stations throughout. Length: a little over 1 mile
  • Crest Trail – This path makes its way over the dam, and is not open to horseback riders (though the lower trail is open to horses and their riders as an alternative). This trail is open intermittently throughout the fall and winter months to accommodate the hunting season.

Fishing At Barr Lake State Park

While fishing is not allowed in the wildlife refuge area or in the irrigation canals, it is allowed in other sections of Barr Lake. Walleye, wipers, perch, carp, trout, and bass can all be caught in their various seasons, and ice fishing is available during the winter months.

Barr Lake State Park has an ADA-accessible fishing pier as well, allowing those without boats to more easily take advantage of the fishing here.

Other Activities at Barr Lake State Park

Barr Lake State Park is home to several picnic locations, most of which are first-come-first-serve. However, the large Meadowlark Pavilion can be reserved in advance.

Hunting for waterfowl, goose, and dove is available in the park during the appropriate season with the correct licensing and precautions.

Winter activities in the park include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing, though motorized travel like snowmobiling is not permitted.

Pets At Barr Lake State Park

Dogs are allowed in most of the park, so long as their waste is properly disposed of and they are on a six-foot or shorter leash at all times. They are not allowed in the wildlife refuge area, so those looking to view the wildlife should plan ahead.

Horses and horseback riding are allowed in the park on designated trails.

Camping At Barr Lake State Park

Unfortunately, there is no camping allowed in the park. However, there are several nearby state parks that offer camping locations, allowing you to take several day trips to local points of interest, including Barr Lake State Park.

Park Location

Barr Lake State Park
13401 Picadilly Road
Brighton CO 80603
Phone: 720.520.1876



Below is a brief YouTube video showcasing a number of attractions at Barr Lake State Park: