State Forest is a generously-sized Colorado State Park occupying more than 70,000 acres consisting of thickly wooded forests, rugged mountain peaks, and calm lakes. A lot of natural wonders are packed in this enormous park as it features panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and large forested regions of lodgepole pine, Colorado blue spruce, aspen, ponderosa pine, limber pine, and Douglas fir. There are over 90 miles of hiking trails exhibiting undeniable scenic beauty and the park’s flora and fauna. The park encompasses many lakes featuring crystal-clear waters as well as enormous peaks including Lake Agnes and Ranger Lakes. The Moose is the park’s show-stopping wildlife creature. The park is noted for its abundant population of Moose extending up to 600 which can be easily observed all year round. The park’s Moose Visitor Center is immensely popular among the visitors for its outstanding displays and exhibits on the Moose population.
Camping at State Forest State Park is outstanding with over 200 campsites scattered all over the park in five different campgrounds. RV camping is delightful in sites that feature 30- and 50-amp electric hookups. While RV camping at the park, you can take advantage of a wide range of recreational opportunities which include mountain-biking, four-wheeling, fishing, boating, geocaching, wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding, telemarking, skiing, and much more. The park is open 24 hours every day offering year-round camping. The best seasons to enjoy RV camping in State Forest are summer, fall, and spring.
Colorado’s State Forest State Park is situated between Walden in Jackson County and Poudre Canyon in Larimer County on Highway 14. The city of Walden is located 16.3 miles to the west of the park. The park sits within the Medicine Bow Range and Never Summer Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is easy to access via car or RV. From Walden, it takes around 30 minutes to reach the park via the CO-125N Highway.
Once inside the park, grab a map from the office or visitor’s center as there is a high chance of getting lost in the park’s enormous 71,000 acres. There are five campgrounds built at various locations. The Bockman Campground can be found by walking one mile to the north of the park’s Michigan Reservoir Creek. The Crags Campground can be located just across the road to Lake Agnes. The North Michigan Campground can be found just around the borders of North Michigan Reservoir. The North Michigan Campground is further divided into North and South Campgrounds. Ranger Lakes Campground is near Ranger Lakes. A dump station has been built on the Maintenance Shop across County Road 41. The park’s amphitheater can be found at the Ranger Lakes Campground.
Don’t worry about parking your RV as there are sufficient parking options inside the park. Towed parking is allowed. There are restrictions on RV length. The maximum RV length for Bockman Campground is set as 100 feet. The maximum RV length for other campgrounds varies from 60 to 65 feet. A pass is required for all the motor vehicles entering the park including RVs.
Located one mile to the north of North Michigan Reservoir, Bockman Campground provides 52 campsites with 13 being pull-through sites. The sites are large enough for RV vehicles up to 100 feet long. No WIFI is available. Campground amenities include picnic tables, barbecue grills, firewood, restrooms, horse corrals and stables, pet-friendliness, and water. Some tent-only sites are also provided for non-RV campers. No more than six persons are allowed on a campsite. Reservations can be made for the months of May to September and up to six months in advance.
Ranger Lakes Campground offers 32 electric campsites with 30- and 50- amp hookups, pet-friendliness, water, vault toilets, picnic tables, grills, and firewood. The maximum RV length is 60 feet. A dumping station can be found nearby across County Road 41. The campground is built within a short walking distance to Ranger Lakes. Six campers are allowed per site. Reservations can be made for early May to Late September up to six months in advance. Unreserved sites are given away on a first come, first serve basis.
North Michigan Campground is located on the border of North Michigan Creek Reservoir. The campground is further divided into two sub grounds: North Campground and South Campground. Both campgrounds accommodate RVs no larger than 65 feet. The South Campground contains 35 sites with five being pull-through sites. The North Campground comprises 13 sites. Both North and South campgrounds feature on-site amenities like picnic tables, grills, firewood, pet-friendliness, water, and toilets. Maximum site occupancy is six people per site.
Just on the right side of County Road 41, the North Park Campground offers 30 campsites, nine of which are pull-through sites. The sites are pet-friendly, large enough to accommodate six people, provide clean drinking water, restrooms, and firewood to name a few. The sites are non-electric. No water or sewer hookups are available.
At some of the campgrounds unreserved sites are given away on a first-come, first-serve basis.
State Forest State Park provides an abundance of recreational opportunities besides RV camping. While camping at the park during summer, step out of your RV to experience the pleasure of boating at the North Michigan Reservoir. Two boat ramps facilitate launching boats, canoes, and kayaks in the water. North Michigan Reservoir is closed for boating during the off-season. The use of motorized watercraft is permitted, but only at low speeds as to not disturb fellow campers in the nearby campgrounds.
While coming for RV camping at State Forest State Park, don’t forget to bring along your fishing equipment if you are a fishing enthusiast. Various lakes at the park are abounding with fishing opportunities during the peak season. Multiple species of trout like brook, brown, rainbow, and cutthroat are found abundantly. North Michigan Reservoir and Ranger Lakes contain plenty of rainbow trout whereas Lake Agnes and Kelly Lake are abundant in cutthroat trout. Bait-use is only permitted at North Michigan Reservoir and Rangers Lake. A handicap accessible fishing pier can be found at Ranger Lakes.
For families and friends RV camping at the park, State Forest has laid out picnic tables at various locations to make their camping experience even more pleasant. Various locations that you can picnic at are Lake Agnes, the Ranger Lakes day-use area, County Road 41 (the park’s main road), and the Moose Visitor Center. During the winter season, picnicking is sometimes closed depending on weather conditions.
If you are in an outdoor-gaming mood, park your RV at a nearby parking lot and begin geocaching. State Forest provides outstanding opportunities for geocaching with its 13 geocaches scattered all over the park. Gaming equipment and pamphlets can be found at the visitor center.
The abundance of wildlife at State Forest State Park will force you to step out of your RV to discover the park’s unusually charming animal and birds. The variety of bird species will render you speechless. Birds like Steller’s Jays, Gray Jays, Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds, House Finches, Gold Finches, White-crowned sparrows, Rufous, and Black-chin and Calliope Hummingbirds are sighted frequently. Besides the park’s highlighted wildlife creature: Moose, other wildlife that can be discovered in the park include deer, bears, marmots, bighorn sheep, mules, foxes, coyotes, and even porcupines, to name a few.
For any outdoors and nature lover, it is impossible to stay inside the RV and not take advantage of the golden opportunity the park provides in the form of its hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. State Forest State Park offers 11 scenic terrains comprising over 90 miles of the park’s total area, each serving various purposes. For example, Gould Loop Trail, American Lakes Trail, Kelly Lake Trail, Clear Lake Trail, Ruby Jewel Route, Bull Mountain, Diamond Peaks, Bockman Road, Montgomery Pass Route, and Mendenhall Route are used as multi-purpose trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding whereas Lake Agnes Trail and Rangers Lake Nature Trail permit hiking, but not horseback riding and biking.
Winter can be enjoyed to a great deal at the park, all thanks to its exciting winter offerings. The park’s 90 miles of hiking trails permit snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and skiing. Lake Agnes Trail, Gould Loop Trail, and Bockman Road are among the trails offering snowshoeing and skiing. American Lakes Trail and Ruby Jewel Routes also offer snowmobiling besides snowshoeing and skiing. Sledding, snow tubing, and ice fishing are also offered at the park to up the winter excitement.
Every winter the park organizes the Moonlight Open House, a delightful winter festival, usually twice a year, that calls out for great fun and celebration. The Gould Loop trail and Moose Visitor Center are decorated with lights, the Chocolate Cabin is stuffed with hot chocolate, and a potluck dinner is arranged at the beginning of the event.