Wildlife abounds at Chatfield State Park, and the park’s campground creates excellent viewing opportunities you are sure to enjoy. The area is home to herds of elk, deer, bald eagles, red foxes, cottontail rabbits, coyotes, and even bears. Over 200 bird species also make their way through the park, making it a great destination for bird watchers. A variety of amphibians and reptiles also live in the park, ranging from western painted turtles to prairie rattlesnakes to western chorus frogs.
If you prefer activities, Chatfield State Park has you covered. Over 26 miles of biking and hiking trails are available, including 12 paved miles. The lake also allows boating during specific times of the year, giving you a chance to cruise onto the lake.
Fishing is also popular at Chatfield State Park, making the campground a favorite place to stay for anglers. Bass, catfish, perch, and walleye are all plentiful in the summer, especially early in the morning and late in the evening. During the winter, ice fishing is also an option, though you need to make sure the conditions are suitable.
A unique option at Chatfield is hot air ballooning. Recreational balloonists can secure a permit in advance, and commercial balloonists may be able to coordinate rides that originate from the park. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, model airplane flying can be a fun option from the park’s paved runways.
Swimming, water skiing, and jet skiing are excellent options if you want to stay cool in the summer. You can also sailboard and paddleboard on the reservoir or in the gravel ponds.
Chatfield State Park has a dog off-leash area on site, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer to travel with their pet. There’s an additional $2 fee for a daily pass, but it gives you and your pooch access to 69 acres of fenced, open space to exercise and mingle. Just make sure to keep a leash with you at all times and be ready to clean up after your dog, ensuring the area stays nice and everyone can enjoy their stay.