Mountain biking, hiking, trails, and watersports. Wyoming's State Parks are enough to make you wish you were a kid again. Here are Wyoming's hardest hitters for families:
Come shoot an arrow at a velociraptor at the 3D archery range in Glendo. Where else can you hone your aim with the use of 20 targets ranging from deer to antelope and bears? The park is also known for water recreation, with more than 12,000 acres of water, jumping with walleye. Swim, kayak, water ski, or sail across the lake, or embark on adventures across 45 miles of trails. There are plenty of beaches to play on too.
Kids and adults can live their cowboy dreams at Buffalo Bill State Park, which seethes with stories of colonel William F. Cody, the famed Wild West personality. He first arrived in the region in the 1870s and acted as a guide for more than twenty years in the area. Much of this land was once owned by him. Come and play on the reservoir that he created.
Delve into the myriad varieties of local wildlife at the Visitor Center, which presents thrilling exhibits offering information about wildlife at the park. Bison and elk herds roam the plains of this 324 acre park, where you and your family can picnic, fish, climb, and paddle your way to the ultimate family vacation. Swimming in the river and the children's outdoor playgrounds complete the picture of the perfect family day in the sunshine.
Roaming around Wyoming is a blissful activity. If not for the dramatic mountain ranges, then for the sweeping panoramas of water and intriguing points of historic interest. Here are some of the best parks for Wyoming wanderings:
Retrace the steps of the Ashley Fur Party, who were the first white men to tread these stunning landscapes back in 1825. Asmus Boysen built the first dam here in 1908, hence the park's name. Hike around the perimeter of the resultant reservoir, or launch a boat onto its sapphire surface. Fishing and hunting are popular sports, and there are plenty of picnic spots at convenient intervals along the hiking trails.
The Oregon Trail was one of the main routes used by immigrants in the 19th century. Besides the Rocky Mountain range, explore the Guernsey Museum and Castle, and don't miss out on Brimmer Point. The Museum seems almost perilously placed atop a cliff overlooking the water, and offers stunning views of the park. Ten miles of trails have been restored, which are all moderately demanding.
Part of the Horse Creek Conservation District, Hawk Springs supplies plenty of picnic tables and restrooms along its trails. Trails circumnavigate the glittering reservoir, which is also a venue for boating parties and water skiing.
From watersports to winter sports, Wyoming's State Parks offer sports fans a myriad of adventures. Here are a selection of the parks where you'll find the most thrilling activities:
Just 24 miles from Cheyenne and east of Laramie, Curt Gowdy is an accessible park with plenty of adventure to offer visitors. Beneath the chain of Laramie Mountains, three stunning reservoirs flow into the park. Granite Reservoir is known for its plenitude of trout and Kokanee salmon. Near Aspen Grove campground is a horse corral for the equestrians out there. Amid low-lying meadows filled with flowers, National Register of Historic Places listed Hynds Lodge lies. Nearby, an amphitheater holds concerts and shows in the summer.
Head to Edness for horseback riding and ice hockey, skating and snowshoeing, plus cross country skiing when the snow is dense enough. Vast cottonwoods are reflected in the North Platte River, where rafting, fishing, and canoeing are popular with visitors.
Medicine Lodge is one of the best places in the state for winter sports including cross country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing. The park's cultural heritage stretches back 10,000 years, and today the adventure sports and wildlife spotting opportunities are some of the most rewarding in the state.