Known for its wonderful lake, stellar campground, and plenty of recreational options for visitors of all ages, Boyd Lake State Park is a true northern Colorado gem. Situated in Larimer County and only a short distance from the city of Loveland, the main attraction to the park is Boyd Lake, which the park's namesake. This 1,700-acre body of water attracts people of all ages looking for a lakeside getaway, and there are many forms of recreation permitted out on the water. These include swimming, boating, canoeing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, and fishing.
The lake also calls out for attention due to its scenic charms. The park is surrounded by cottonwood, western wheatgrass, and blue gamma trees, which gives a pleasant ambiance throughout the year The park is home to more than 200 diverse species of birds, and you might catch a glimpse of coyotes, red foxes, bears, and raccoons, just to name a few. The park boasts beautiful hiking and biking trails, a large number of picnic tables, a group picnic area, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and a playground to keep visitors and campers well-entertained and amused during their stay.
The modern Cottonwood Campground offers 148 RV and tent campsites for visitors to enjoy all year round and all sites are equipped with electric hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. Peak season at Boyd Lake State Park runs from April until October.
Boyd Lake State Park is easy to access via car or RV. The park is located in northern Colorado at the western end of the plains of Longs Peak and mountains of Continental Divide. The nearest city is Loveland, which is Larimer County’s second most populous city. The city a 15-minutes drive away from the park via N Boise Avenue. From Fort Collins, it takes almost half an hour to arrive at the park via S College Avenue and S Timberline Road.
The roads in and around the park are in great condition since the park is within city limits. Rigs up to 40 feet in length will easily be able to navigate their way through the campground, and you will have no trouble parking your rig, even if you are a beginner.
If you are just visiting for the day, there are a lot of parking lots available at the park, including near the entrance, Mariner Point Group Picnic Area, and the Cottonwood Campground. All motor vehicles must only be parked at designated campgrounds or parking lots. A park permit is mandatory for all the vehicles entering the park. The speed limit is set at 25 mph inside the park and 10 mph within the campground.
Boyd Lake State Park is home to one campground that is perfect for RV campers with rigs up to 60 feet in length. Comprising of 148 campsites, the Cottonwood Campground is located near Boyd Lake in a shaded area, and all sites are equipped with 20-, 30-, and 50-amp electric hookups.
The campground is divided into six loops from A to F. There are no sewer hookups provided, but there are three modern restrooms with showers located within the campground. If you need to use a dump station, there is one across the road from Loops C and D, and there are also laundry facilities and water collection points for your convenience. All sites are pet-friendly, and if you need an ADA site, you can stay at either number 76, 97, or 131. During the wintertime, the campground remains open, however, amenities are limited during this time.
The campground is a reservations-only campground, but same-day reservations can be made if you end up going on a last-minute trip. They can be made by using the online system or calling the park during business hours.
Since there is only one campground within Boyd Lake State Park, there are no tent-only camping options available for those who did not travel to the park with an RV. If you are planning on tent camping, you can use any of the 148 sites within the campground where you can enjoy the electric hookups, picnic table, and fire ring. All sites require a reservation in advance during the peak and non-peak seasons, so make sure you book a site online or call the park to guarantee that you will have a place to stay.
If you are RV camping during the winter season, ice skating is highly recommended. Ice skating has become a favorite winter sport at the park due to the size of the lake. There are no purpose-built ice skating facilities at Boyd Lake State Park, but the activity is welcomed by staff. There are no skate rentals available, so make sure to bring your own if you want to have some fun. Before setting foot on the ice, it's highly recommended that you test the ice thickness since it isn't monitored by the park.
While RV camping at Boyd Lake State Park, you will be attracted to the fascinating wildlife and birding species living at the park. Muskrat cottontail rabbits, red foxes, ground squirrels, coyotes, and raccoons all call the park home and will serve your wildlife photography needs. Also, you will be amazed at the diversity of birding species in the park. More than 200 species like herons, egrets, owls, hawks, eagles, pelicans, and bald eagles can be spotted during your stay, so make sure to keep your eyes out.
The park offers hiking trails covered in the beauty of cool cottonwood trees, blue gamma, western wheatgrass, and a wide diversity of wildflowers. These trails offer the best way to discover the park’s natural features like the wetlands, beaches, forests, and lakes while traversing through the beaches into the cottonwood trees and finally ending into the city of Loveland’s recreational trail system. Also, there is a half-mile self-guided nature trail towards the southern region of the park. Leashed pets are permitted on the trails, and trails can also be used for cross-country skiing during the wintertime.
One of the best ways to make the most of your time at Boyd Lake is to hop on a bike and hit the biking trail. During the spring and summer, the park welcomes enthusiastic bikers to enjoy riding on the paved trail that is surrounded by cool cottonwood trees. The trail in the Boyd Lake area of the park is part of a larger city of Loveland trail, so if you want to do even more biking you can continue on out of the park and explore Loveland.
When it comes to water recreation, there are so many options to try out at Boyd Lake State Park. One of the most popular activities is to take in the pleasures of boating on the park’s 1,700 acres of water. There are multiple boat ramps that you are welcome to use, and if you didn't bring your own boat there are some available for rent from the marina. Motorboats are very popular on the lake but you can also go canoeing, jet-skiing, or stand-up paddleboarding. During the winter, the marina closes, so keep this in mind if you want to make the most of the lake during your visit.
At Boyd Lake State Park, campers are offered various ways to make their RV camping experience worth remembering. One of these generous offerings is the vast number of picnic sites available at the park. Sixty-seven high-quality picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites offering complimentary picnic shelters and barbecue grills are also available.
The Mariner Point Group Picnic Area is available mid-May to mid-September and is perfect for large groups that are visiting the park. The shelter is strictly reservation-only, large enough for 200 people, and contains 28 tables, two serving counters, barbecue grills, fireplaces, electricity, water, and restrooms. Horseshoe pits, swing sets, and a beach volleyball court are within walking distance. The shelter can be reserved up to 180 days in advance.