There are a number of amusements available to John Martin Reservoir State Park patrons.
Here are just a few of the many amusements at John Martin Reservoir park:
Boating At John Martin Reservoir State Park
John Martin Reservoir State Park has two boating launches open from March 15th to November 1st, weather and water levels permitting. The John Martin Reservoir is open to all kinds of boats and water vehicles, while Lake Hasty is open to nonmotorized and electric motorized hand-launched vessels. Keep in mind that all boats must be inspected for invasive aquatic wildlife species and that all boating permits necessary for Colorado should be obtained prior to launching.
Jet skiing is allowed on the lake during the correct season.
Swimming At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Those looking to swim at John Martin Reservoir State Park should head over to the Lake Hasty swim beach. This beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so long as a personal floatation device is in use. Be aware that there are no lifeguards, and that swimming is not allowed from the boat docks or the point overlook for safety reasons.
Hiking At John Martin Reservoir State Park
While there is not a large amount of hiking at John Martin Reservoir State Park, there are two main hiking trails throughout the park. However, these trails do loop past gorgeous natural locations, as well as historic sites and Native American rock art examples. Those looking for a short trail should stick close to the Red Shin Standing Ground, while those looking for a longer hike should take on the full Red Shin Trail.
Here are the two trails at John Martin Reservoir State Park:
- Red Shin Standing Ground – Those looking for an easy hike can explore the area around Red Shin Standing Ground. With areas to walk around and also climb, this hiking area is a great place for those looking to explore nature without exhausting themselves in the process. Length: varies Degree of Difficulty: easy
- Red Shin Trail – This trail begins at the Arkansas River and Lake Hasty dam, and goes to the Santa Fe Trail Marker at the north end of the John Martin Reservoir. Hikers can explore historic monuments, incredible rock art, and view the natural wetlands monuments. Length: varies Degree of Difficulty: moderate
Biking At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Biking is allowed throughout John Martin Reservoir State Park, though there are no dedicated biking trails in the park. Those looking to mountain bike can take on the hiking trails available in the park, or bike along main roads. Keep in mind that horseback riders have the right of way.
Fishing At John Martin Reservoir State Park
John Martin Reservoir State Park is an incredible warm-water fishing location. Spring and summer are peak crappie and saugeye fishing seasons, while bass and wiper are found in mid-summer. With such incredible seasonal offerings, it’s no surprise this is one of the more popular fishing locations in the area. Keep in mind that there is no ice fishing at the reservoir, as the area rarely freezes over and it is unsafe to fish during the winter months.
Birding At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Birders can spot up to 373 documented species of birds native to the area when visiting John Martin Reservoir State Park. Several endangered species, including the Interior Least Tern and Piping Plovers, can be seen in the park, though they should not be approached for the safety of the birds. The various trails in the park are also excellent birdwatching spots and offer access to more remote areas where birds may be more prevalent.
Picnicking At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Picnicking tables can be found throughout the park, as well as along the coastline. Keep in mind that campsites are reserved in advance, and you should not picnic at a campsite that is not yours. There are two group picnic areas available in the park, though these need to be reserved in advance. More information about group picnicking, as well as individual picnic locations, can be found on the park website.
Geocaching At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Thanks to the local boy scout troop, John Martin Reservoir State Park has 6 geocaching locations to explore throughout the park. These locations can be found on their website, as well as GPS coordinates and more information about the Eagle Scout who created the project.
Pets At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Dogs are allowed in the park as long as their waste is properly disposed of, and they are kept on a 6-foot or shorter lead at all times. Horses are allowed in the park for horseback riding, but there is nowhere nearby to store your horses, so be prepared if you have a horse trailer or are looking for an extended stay.
Camping At John Martin Reservoir State Park
Both Lake Hasty Campground and The Point Campground are located in John Martin Reservoir State Park. Thes campsites have plenty of sites available for reservation, with hookups available at the Lake Hasty Campground. There is also winter camping for those looking to brave the great outdoors in the colder months. To find out more about each individual campsite, or to make a reservation, check out the park website linked below.
Below is a brief YouTube video highlighting various attractions at John Martin Reservoir State Park: