How about spending weekends with your family in Bear Creek Lake Park? Sounds amazing, right? But if you’re not familiar with all the activities of the park, well then let us help you with fun activities in Bear Creek Lake Park.
Bear Creek Lake Park
Located in the Cumberland State Forest in central Virginia, Bear Creek Lake Park is just a little more than an hour’s drive west of Richmond. A getaway like this is perfect for an outdoor enthusiast. Three lakes make up the amazing scenery between Lakewood and Morrison in the foothills and that are Bear Creek Lake, Big Soda Lake, and Little Soda Lake.
Fun fact about the dams of the park: to protect the Denver area from floods, the Bear Creek Dam was the last of the three dams that were built in 1982. With its well-named Bear Creek Lake, it is a surprisingly big park. Also, the lake was the inspiration for the park’s name.
There are several activities available on this 40-acre lake, including a boat launch, fishing pier, boat or paddle boarding rentals, and also a swimming beach near the activities centre. There is also a conference centre, an archery range, cabins, camping, picnicking, and a picnic area. Guests can also explore the park’s trails and access the 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest adjacent to the park, including the Cumberland Multi-use Trail. This 14-mile trail hosts many activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Also, you do not have to worry about Wi-Fi. The service is available year-round throughout the campground and at the cabin area’s maintenance building, which is located next to ample parking spaces.
Mar to Apr, Oct: 7 am to 8 pm
May to Sep: 6 am to 10 pm
Nov to Feb: 8 am to 6 pm
Location: 15600 West Morrison Road, Lakewood, CO.
Website: Bear creek lake park
Phone no.: 303-697-6159
Park entrance fees and day pass:
- General: $10
- Seniors (age 62 and older): $5
- A person with disabilities: $5
Activities to do in Bear Creek Lake Park
Check out the video of the activities of the park
1. Archery range
Archery range in the open park sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Bear creek park has an open year-round shooting range available to the public. It has a total of 12 bale targets ranging in distance from 10 to 80 yards, one moving target to allow longer-range shooting practice, two small shade shelters, and also the picnic tables.
As we know, the three lakes at Bear creek lake park make the place worth visiting. Two of the lakes are for public boating and one is for water ski school.
- Bear Creek Lake for Motorised boating,
- Big Soda Lake for Non-motorized craft, and
- Little Soda Lake for Limited to private boats for Water skiing School
The boat ramps at Bear Creek Reservoir and Big Soda Lake are open as soon as the park opens and remain open for two hours after the park closes. After this time, boats will not be able to launch, and this rule does not apply to non-motorized canoes, kayaks, rafts, paddleboats, windsurfers, or belly boats. Also, only paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats are typically available to rent in the park from May to September.
Boat Launch Hours
- May to September: 6 am to 8 pm
- October: 7 am to 6 pm
- November 1st to November 15th: 8 am to 4 pm
- March to April 30: 7 am to 6 pm
Note: Boat ramps are closed from November 15 to March 15 annually, pending conditions.
Camping in bear creek lake park is one of the amazing experiences, as there are many amenities available there. At the park, there are 47 campsites, two yurts, electrical hookups, three cabins (open all year round), and a group site that can hold up to 25 people. The campground is very close to Red Rocks, which makes it perfect for concerts.
In addition to 47 campsites, there are 3 cabins and 2 yurts, as well as a group site available at the campground. Besides a water-filling station and spigots available on the premises, you will also find on-site restrooms with coin-operated showers, a trash or dump station area, and a sanitation station.
Camping fees differ for annual park pass holders, so do not forget to grab your pass. The rates are;
- $35 per night
- $30 per night for annual park pass holders
- $100 group area per night (open to scout and youth groups only during winter)
- $55 yurts
- $65 cabin, read more here.
Also if you are still having trouble figuring out the camping or campground check out the YouTube video about the state park.
4. Hiking and Biking on the park trails:
Many trails in the park are popular for horseback riding, biking, and hiking. There are nearly 15 miles of soft-surface (usually dirt) trails in the park that suit all levels of ability and are designed for all users. The majority of the trails are open to horseback riders, pedestrians, and mountain bikers alike.
Bear creek lake park is home to eight trails, of which two of which are even paved. Some of these trails connect to other paved trail systems in other regions of the park.
Each month, they stocked the lake once or twice. They stocked the lake with a wide variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, saugeye, small-mouth bass, and yellow perch, and in the off-season, you can find tiger muskies or walleye if you get lucky. You can also take saugeye longer than 21 inches but only one at a time in a whole day. Also, Ice fishing is allowed in the park but at your own risk, so be careful before trying anything new.
6. Horseback Riding:
Horseback riding, private lessons, and hayrides are available at Bear Creek Ranch Stables in the park from April through October. This beautiful wilderness area boasts approximately 15 miles of multi-use dirt trails. The trails include open meadows, creek-side trails, and spectacular views from Mount Carbon. As a reminder, horses are not allowed on the Owl Trail, Fitness Trail, Cottonwood Trail, or certain sections of the Fisherman’s Trail, and are required to remain on the designated trails only.
There is also a public horse arena that can be found on the south side of the park, close to where the stables are located. Three parking lots are suitable for horse trailers, and they are as follows:
- Horse Arena Lot (recommended),
- Cottontail Picnic Area, and
- Whitetail Picnic Area.
7. Swimming and Paddle Sports at Big Soda Lake:
The Big Soda Lake is open to swimming from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so if you want to cool off your head and want to have some fun, then Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park is the place to be. This lake offers a variety of attractions, such as a concession stand, picnic areas, a playground, two sand volleyball courts, a lap swim lane, and picnic areas. Throughout the summer, there are also several types of rental available for paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats.
Swim Beach details:
- Open from May 21 to Labor Day
- 8 am to 8 pm daily
8. Visitor Center:
The park visitor centre is the better place where people can learn more about the natural world around them and become more connected to the environment. An educational exhibit and display explore a variety of topics related to the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem as it is shown in these displays’ exhibits.
The visitor centre at Bear Creek Lake Park is a perfect place to view Colorado’s wildlife thanks to its range of open space. It is home to various ecosystems, including prairies, wetlands, and riparian areas, which allows the park to offer a wide variety of wildlife viewing opportunities.
Opening hours of visitor centre: 9 am to 4 pm daily (temporarily closed on Sundays and Mondays)
9. Educational Programs
Bear Creek Lake Park is an ideal outdoor classroom. Several organized activities and programs bear Creek Lake Park and the Lakewood Regional Parks Division host for all ages, which include sunset and full moon hikes, archery, and nature and wildlife education events. Additionally, there are opportunities to host special events in the city parks as well. Some ongoing programs of the park are;
- Bat Appreciation Day
- Bear Creek Birding
- Bear Creek Lake Park Earth Day Event
- Full Moon Night Hikes
- Nature Hikes
- Sunset Hikes
- World Bee Day
About pets in the lake park:
Well pets are allowed in the park, but there are some ground rules for you to follow if you want to keep them around;
- Leash and control your dogs at all times. It’s the law.
- Don’t forget to clean up after your pets.
- Dogs are not allowed in the beach area.
Things to do near Bear Creek Lake Park
What can you do outside Bear Creek Lake Park? We have talked about the various activities available in the park, but what about the nearby sites? If you’re having trouble figuring out what to see near Bear Creek Lake Park, do check out our list:
1. Bandimere Speedway
In the Bandimere Speedway, the fastest drivers in the world take control of the fastest cars in the world to thrill fans. With over 90 different events planned for the summer racing season, it no doubt attracts fans of all ages.
Address: 3051 S Rooney Road, Morrison, CO 80465.
2. Red Rocks Amphitheater
Well, red rocks amphitheatre an open-air venue situated alongside several of the large, towering red sandstone formations, is famous for concerts in Colorado, but you can visit and enjoy several things there even if there is no concerts or band on the stage. Some of the items are:
- Dinosaur Ridge
- Colorado Music Hall of Fame
- The Ship Rock Grille
- Film On the Rocks
- Geologic Overlook Trail
Address: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465.
3. Coors Brewery
Founded in 1873, Coors Brewery is known for its quality, innovation, and customer service. Wouldn’t it be great to taste traditional brewing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in the world’s largest single-site brewery? They also offer one tour of the area for $20 + tax, but you have to make a reservation beforehand, so if you’re thinking about visiting here, book the tickets.
Address: 502 14th St, Golden, CO 80401.
4. Gothic Theatre
A grand art déco-style gothic theatre constructed in the 1920s is the perfect place to enjoy a concert. Throughout the year, both local bands and national touring acts continue to showcase their talents at the venue, do check out their events before skipping this. You might get to see your favorite band.
Address: 3263 S Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113.
So, here’s our list of activities you can do in or outside of Bear creek lake park. We hope you enjoy your vacation or weekends with your family.