Barr Lake State Park
Aliases: Old Stone House (Bird Conservancy of the Rockies headquarters)
One of the premier metro-area lakes, Barr Lake has been a hot spot for birding longer than just about any other place in Colorado. Visit here and you will see why! Depending on the season, there are many opportunities to view waterbirds, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds. An impressive riparian area surrounds the lake on all sides and provides ideal habitat for both resident and migratory birds. The wildlife refuge located at the southern end of the lake provides additional cover and protection, particularly for nesting birds, including a resident pair of Bald Eagles and a rookery with over 200 nests used by herons, egrets, and cormorants. In winter, it is possible to see large numbers of Bald Eagles at one time, as well as a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds, such as goldeneyes, grebes, gulls, and terns. Other birds of interest you could spot at Barr include: large variety of warblers, longspurs, and sparrows. Over 350 species of migratory and resident birds have been observed at the park, so there is always something to see year-round!
In the fall, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies operates a banding station to the north of the Nature Center along the perimeter trail. This is an excellent opportunity to view migrating birds both in the hand and in the field. Be sure to stop by Barr Lake’s Nature Center to learn more about their annual Birding Festival (in early September) and Bald Eagle Festival (early February), as well as a multitude of other educational opportunities.
There are two entrances to the park, the main entrance on the southeast side leads to the Nature Center and other amenities while the northern entrance leads to Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Environmental Learning Center. You can access the perimeter trail from both entrances. A state park pass (annual or day) is required for entrance and parking.
Please note: dogs are not allowed in the Wildlife Refuge.
Attractions: Archery range.
Directions: From I-76: take exit 22/Bromley Lane and go east. In about a mile, turn south on Picadilly Rd. The park entrance is on the west side of Picadilly Rd., about a mile and a half south of Bromley Lane. From E-470: exit 34/120th Ave. and go east to Tower Rd. Turn Left onto Tower Rd. and follow the pavement to Picadilly Rd. Make a left on Picadilly. Park entrance is about a mile ahead on the left.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: State Parks Pass.
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulation. Pets, boating, fishing, and fires are not allowed in the wildlife refuge section.
Lodging: Hotels in Brighton and Denver
Handicapped Access: ADA accessible facilities, and the trail around the lake. ADA accessible golf cart available for tours. Please call the nature center for more information 303-659-6005.