Fish, Finches, and Campfires: St. Vrain State Park

Birds St Vrain

There are many things associated with summer.  Children are free from school for a few months, college students are coming back home, and people are looking to enjoy the sun and outdoors again.  Peppered with a number of lakes and steeped with wildlife, St. Vrain State Park can provide as an ideal stop for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain State while on their Colorado vacation.


There are number of activities to take part in while visiting St. Vrain State Park on your Colorado vacation.  For the camping enthusiast, there are over 80 campsites spread out between 8 campgrounds.

Lighting The Grill At St Vrain
Camping, picnics, and grilling are welcome at St. Vrain State Park.

For those camping at sites 1 through 41, there is access to electrical hookups as well as a water source and a dump station for those traveling in RVs. Also located near sites 1 through 41 is the Barbour Ponds Camper Services building.  This building makes restrooms, pay showers, and a small meeting room available to campers on their Colorado vacation.

Campers who choose to stay in sites 42 through 87 also have access to water and electricity, in addition to sewer facilities.  In addition to these amenities, all of the campsites come with concrete pads, picnic tables, and grills.

Summer Activities

There are a number of activities that visitors to St. Vrain State Park can take part in.  One of the main attractions to the park is its numerous ponds, 14 in total, and the Blue Heron Reservoir.

Fishing On The Banks Of The River
You can find ten species of fish at St. Vrain, which you can lure from the banks, the fishing piers, or a boat.

The park allows for a number of different kinds of boats to be used on the water; these include those that are propelled by hand, foot, or electrical trolling motors.  However, until the Blue Heron ramp opens to the public, only wakeless, hand-launch vessels are permitted.

Another popular activity for those visiting on their Colorado vacation is fishing.  Anglers can expect to find ten different species of fish that include largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, rainbow trout, yellow perch, black crappie, and others.  These can be fished for from boats or from one of the park’s fishing piers that can be found along the park’s trails.

For those looking to keep their feet on dry land there are four one-mile trails for hikers to explore, these are the Muskrat Run, Bald Eagle Pond, Coot Pond, and Pelican Pond trails.  Another popular attraction to this state park is its large and diverse avian population.

Pelican St Vrain
Pelicans are just one of the many species of birds you can see at St. Vrain. Eagles, owls, kingfishers, and grebes, among others, can also be found here.

St. Vrain State Park holds the honor of having the largest heron rookery in the state of Colorado, as well as having the only known Great Egret nesting site.

In addition to these two, there are close to 80 other species that inhabit the area.  These include grebes, songbirds, hawks, eagles, owls, falcons, swallows, kingfishers, coots, meadowlarks, wood-warblers, and many others. These species include those that are permanent residents year-round, as well as those that migrate and flock during the summer months.

With so many different species living and passing through St. Vrain State Park, it makes the perfect location for birders to visit on their Colorado vacation.

If You Go

For more information of St. Vrain State Park or for detailed listings of the wildlife, visit:

Evan Witt is an Illinois native with a degree in English Literature from Lake Forest College, and as a frequent visitor to Colorado, he enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, and photography.

Photos courtesy of Colorado State Parks.
Header photo and grill photo by Michael Alosi.