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picnic area near hawk springs reservoir in wyoming

Picnic area next to reservoir at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area. Photo: Park Facebook page.

Hawk Springs State Recreation Area (HSSRA) is a public park located 10 miles north of La Grange in Goshen County near the border of Nebraska. It may be one of the smaller Wyoming state parks, but it’s a popular place to be during the warmer months since it’s one of the only public recreation lakes along the eastern border of Wyoming.

This cozy spot is just an hour’s drive northeast of Cheyenne and about 20 minutes from Torrington on the western shore of the Hawk Springs Reservoir. Primary attraction to this serene lakeside park is for boating, fishing, swimming and camping.

Activities

Hawk Springs State Recreation Area’s main feature is its lake and all that it has to offer. All year round you’ll discover something special about this place, whether it’s camping, enjoying the water or watching the native wildlife. While the warmer months are best for swimming and boating, the other activities can be experienced year round.

Here are some of the things that you can do at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area:

Boating at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

Boating is quite popular here at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area since it’s one of the only reservoirs that is suitable for boating along the eastern border of Wyoming. Boats of all types and jet skis are a common sight here.

And there is a boat ramp and dock by the Park Entrance, you’ll see them immediately as you drive in.

Swimming at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

The entire eastern shoreline of the part of Hawk Springs Reservoir inside of the park is suitable as a beach area. You’ll find a nice sandy beach to sit on and dig in but be aware that water levels vary year by year and this affects the amount of actual exposed beach area there will be.

Fishing at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

Hawk Springs State Recreation Area is a good fishing destination for both boat and shoreline fishing. The Wyoming Game and Fish regularly stock the reservoir and you can expect to catch walleye, largemouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish and black crappie.

The best time of year to catch walleye is in June and July. But you can fish year round and even try your hand at ice fishing during the winter months. Be sure to pick up a fishing license on your way to the park.

Birdwatching at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

Birdwatching is definitely a special feature of this park so don’t leave home without your binoculars and camera. It’s special because Hawk Springs State Recreation Area boasts a blue heron rookery in the reeds at the south end of the reservoir.

If you’re quiet and patient you may get a glimpse of this beautiful creature. Keep in mind though that this area is only accessible by boat so plan ahead if you want a closer look.

Other birds you may see here: bald eagles, great-horned owls, Canada geese, pheasant, white-faced ibis, gadwells, pintails, avocets, wood ducks, blue-winged and green-winged teals. As well as many more types of waterfowl, shorebirds and song birds.

Pets at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed and cleaned up after.

Camping at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

Year round camping is available at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area and there are 24 primitive tenting campsites inside of the park. The sites are all walk up only so keep that in mind when packing your camping equipment and gear.

Campsites are on a first-come-first-serve basis and there are no online reservations at this time. But, in case this should change, you should call ahead to double check before heading over.

You’ll also find picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms and water hydrants available to make your stay more pleasurable. Also nearby are 2 swing style playgrounds and 4 horseshoe pits.

Things To Do Near Hawk Springs State Recreation Area

There’s a lot of history here on these wide open plains. The nearby towns of Hawk Springs, La Grange and Torrington are worth exploring while you’re enjoying your stay at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area.

If the weather turns bad or you’re just looking for a day out, take a short drive over to Torrington and visit one of these interesting sites:

  • Fort Laramie – 965 Grey Rocks Road, Fort Laramie, WY 82212
    This historical site was once the largest military garrison on the Great Plains, circa mid-1800s. Fort Laramie was also a significant trading post and diplomatic site due to its location at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers. If you’re interested in learning more about early Wyoming this is the place to go.
  • The Homesteaders Museum – 495 Main St, Torrington, WY 82240
    The Goshen County Homesteaders Museum has many artifacts, historical information and genealogical resources. They are housed inside of a former Union Pacific depot and have many interesting displays including the first automobile in the county, a homesteader’s shack and a one room schoolhouse.
  • Table Mountain Vineyards – Rd 48, Torrington, WY 82240
    Visit Wyoming’s largest vineyard and winery and sample some of the local flavor. Call ahead to schedule a tasting appointment or check out their events calendar online.
  • The Emporium Restaurant – 225 US-85, Hawk Springs, WY 82217
    They’re located just a few minutes away in Hawk Springs and were featured on an episode of FoodNetwork’s Restaurant Impossible!

If you’re craving some home cooking check out this nearby cozy restaurant:

Park Location

Hawk Springs State Recreation Area
US-85 Road 22
La Grange, WY 82221
Phone: 307.836.2334

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area: