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Navajo Park open for boating, fishing, camping

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Even though the water level is below normal at Navajo State Park, there’s plenty of water for boating and other water-recreation activities.

“We have thousands of acres of water available for boating and the campground is open,” said Doug Secrist, park manager.

The boat ramp is in the water and small and medium-sized motorboats can be launched. There is not enough water, however, to launch large houseboats and sailboats.

There are many locations for good water skiing on the Colorado side of the park. For anglers, fishing is good for crappie, smallmouth bass and northern pike.

The low water level also provides a new opportunity for paddlers to try out their sea kayaks and canoes. Some historic sites that have been covered by water can now be explored. Sights include the old town of Arboles, the old railroad grade and several old homesteads. The exposed shoreline also offers new places for shoreline hiking and running. Paddlers should watch the weather because strong winds often come up around noon.

The Piedra River inlet on the north side of the park contains significant wetland areas and is ideal for bird watching and hiking and running along the old railroad grade.

The park offers more than 100 camp sites, many with full hookups, and three cabins are available for rent.

To reserve a camp spot or a cabin, call (800) 678-2267, or go to the reservation section of the Colorado Parks and Reservation website, http://coloradostateparks.reserveamerica.com.

Events, Junior Rangers

Navajo State Park offers regular educational programs for children and adults.

At 8 a.m., Saturday, July 6, Becky Gillette, southwest regional director for Audubon Rockies, will lead a bird walk to look for shorebirds, song birds, raptors and more. Meet at the north end of the Windsurf Beach at the Piedra Trailhead. Bring water and snacks. Bring binoculars; some will be available for those who don’t have them.

Youngsters can become a Junior Ranger by completing activities that encourage exploration, observation and study.  By completing outdoor exercises and a written quiz, participants earn a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Junior Ranger badge and signed certificate. Activities are designed for ages 4 to 12.

Join the park naturalist every Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m., and every Saturday and Sunday morning at 9 a.m. for a variety of programs including “Paint a fossil,” “Gyotuki-Fish Painting,” “Explore Historic Arboles,” “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs” and more.

All programs are free, but every vehicle entering the park must have a pass. Daily passes are $7, an annual pass is $70.

For more information about programs, facilities and activities, call the park at 883-2208.

For more information about camping, boating or fishing anywhere in Colorado, go to: cpw.state.co.us.

This story was posted on July 3, 2013.