There are a large variety of amusements available to Ridgway State Park explorers.
Here are several of the many activities at Ridgway park:
Boating At Ridgway State Park
During the warmer months of the year, Ridgway State Park opens the reservoir to boaters, from motorboats to sailboats and self-propelled boats like kayaks and canoes. Keep in mind that all boats must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species (ANS) prior to launching and that all state and local licensure applies.
Paddleboarding is a popular activity in the park, with gorgeous views of the reservoir and the lake is one of the main draws. Be sure to bring a life jacket and to follow all safety precautions when paddleboarding. Be aware that the colder temperatures and high winds present at Ridgway State Park can make paddleboarding dangerous at times, so always be aware of the weather forecast and current conditions before setting out from the boat launch.
Water skiing is also allowed on the reservoir, as well as wakeboarding.
Swimming At Ridgway State Park
Ridgway State Park is home to the Dutch Charlie Designated swim beach. This beach is a great place to take in the sun while cooling off in the pristine water of the reservoir. While there are no dogs or hard-sided paddle craft allowed at the swim beach, swimmers are welcome so long as all children are accompanied by an adult, and swimmers are aware there is no lifeguard on duty.
There is also a swimming area at Dallas Creek within the designated no-wake zone. Keep in mind this area is not roped off as a no-boating area, meaning swimmers are swimming at their own risk.
Hiking At Ridgway State Park
Ridgway State Park is home to over 14 miles of hiking trails that are open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well in the colder months. These trails vary in length and difficulty, meaning there are plenty of hiking options for everyone when they visit the park. The trail accessibility can vary depending on the weather at the park, so be sure to check the state park website or call ahead to find out more about the available trails and what to expect when hiking. Keep in mind there is no horseback riding on any of the trails in the park.
Biking At Ridgway State Park
Not only are all 14 miles of trails in Ridgway State Park open to mountain biking, if the gorgeous trails that make their way near rivers and through forest views aren’t enough for you, but the nearby area to the east of highway 550 also has another 10 miles of single-track trails open to bikers. If you are interested in exploring the trails outside of the park, check out the Visitor center within Ridgway State Park to find out more information and to pick up a map of the area.
Fishing At Ridgway State Park
Both the reservoir and nearby river are ideal fishing locations. Those looking to fish at the park will be pleased to know there is no bag limit on smallmouth bass, and they are considered an invasive species. For all other catches, check out the state park website for more information about where to find each fish species, as well as bag limits and weather information. Keep in mind that all local and state fishing licenses and guidelines apply and that some areas of the reservoir have specific restrictions on fishing hooks to help protect swimming areas.
Birding At Ridgway State Park
Ridgway State Park sees its fair share of feathered visitors throughout the year, without over 140 species of migratory birds and resident birds recorded in the park. Shorebirds and waterfowl are plentiful within the park, including Canada geese, Sandhill cranes, Western Grebes, and more. Birders can enjoy spotting local species from the various trails throughout the park, or from the comfort of their boat. Those interested in tracking the birds they spot can check out the Visitor Center to find out more about local birds, as well as pick up a map of the area.
Geocaching At Ridgway State Park
If you’re looking to participate in the world’s largest treasure hunt, why not try geocaching at Ridgway State Park? There are two geocaching locations in the park, allowing you to hone your exploration skills and explore the less-traveled areas of the park at the same time.
Pets At Ridgway State Park
Dogs are welcome in the park so long as they are kept on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times, and their waste is properly disposed of. Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed at the designated swim beach, and must be attended to at all times.
Camping At Ridgway State Park
There are several campgrounds to choose from within Ridgway State Park. Each location has restrooms, as well as coin-operated showers during the peak season. There is also a laundromat, snack machine, and change machine available at the Camper Services Building.
Depending on your campsite of choice, there are RV hookup locations, as well as more “back to nature” camping options. Those looking for a change of pace can rent one of the yurts available at the park. To find out more about the various camping locations within the park, or to make a reservation, check out the Ridgway State Park website.
Below is a short YouTube video highlighting a number of attractions at Ridgway State Park: