Windsor Lake, free fishing and Memorial Day camping — Adventure Items for May 26
May 25, 2017
The Town of Windsor's Windsor Lake will open Saturday for watercraft rentals and boating.
Motorized boats can operate on Windsor Lake from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 8. Motorized boating will be allowed only on Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 12 through Sept. 17.
Motorized boating will not be allowed on July 4.
Motorized boaters need a permit and reservation to boat on Windsor Lake and are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. A maximum of 20 permits will be sold. They are $15 for residents and $25 for non-residents for a half-day and $450 annually for residents.
Permit holders must call (970) 674-3500 to request their time and day of the week to reserve a spot on the lake no earlier than Monday of that week.
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Jet skis are not permitted on Windsor Lake.
All non-motorized watercraft must purchase a permit to use the lake. That is $5 for residents, $7 for non-residents for a day permit and $35 and $50 for an annual permit.
From May 27 to Aug. 8, non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake every day but Wednesdays and Fridays. After Aug. 8, non-motorized boats can be on the lake year-round from sunrise to sunset as long as ice is not present.
Kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and aqua trikes are available to rent at the Windsor Lake concessions building for $5 for 30 minutes. Rentals will be available from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday Aug. 7; noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays through Aug. 4; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 17.
Fishing is allowed at Windsor Lake year-round when ice is not present. Night fishing is allowed from the south end of the parking lot on Colo. 257 north to the inlet bridge of the lake.
Swimming is permitted at the Windsor Lake Swim Beach within areas designated by ropes and buoys during daylight hours. There is no lifeguard on duty. All children 9 and under must be accompanied by a guardian 16 or older.
A dog swim beach and dog park is open on the northeast side of the lake.
Windsor Lake at Boardwalk Park is located at 100 N. 5th St., Windsor.
The U.S. Forest Service will hosting a free fishing day for kids on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest on June 3 at the West Lake Day-use area, located off Red Feather Lakes Road (Larimer County Road 74E).
June 3 is Colorado Free Fishing Day, and Greeley and Windsor will also host fishing derbies that day.
Participants for the U.S. Forest Service event under the age of 15 will receive a free fishing pole and fishing lessons.
Check-in time is from 8-8:30 a.m., and the event runs until 1 p.m. Participants must register online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/news/arp/news-events/?cid=2894. For questions or inquiries about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, fishing gear (for adults wishing to participate) and a cooler to keep your catch.
Youth must be accompanied by an adult.
Drive 21 miles north of Fort Collins on U.S. 287. Turn left (west) onto Red Feather Lakes Road and drive approximately 22 miles. Turn right onto Dowdy Lake Road.
Memorial Day weekend brings many visitors to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, especially along the Front Range foothills. While this holiday historically kicks off the summer camping season, snow is still deep at the higher elevations in the mountains around Fort Collins, Boulder, Idaho Springs and Granby, and spring rains and snowmelt have left many roads and trails wet, muddy and snow-packed.
Lower elevation hiking trails above 8,000 feet still have mud and snow patches. Most trails at higher elevations above 10,000 feet will remain snow-packed until later in June or early July. A big late snowstorm in Rocky Mountain National Park have left many of those trails packed with snow.
Many National Forest System roads remain closed this time of year due to mud or snow. Make sure to check the latest road information at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/roads before heading out.
The Motor Vehicle Use Map is a good resource, available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/mvum or at our visitor centers. These maps are also available as a cell phone app from Avenza at http://www.pdf-maps.com.
Many campgrounds opened Thursday. While nearly all of the reservable campsites are already booked, some campgrounds do offer first-come, first-served spots. These typically fill by Thursday night for the holiday weekend. For a full list of campgrounds, reservations and opening dates please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/campinglist. Reservations should be made at http://www.recreation.gov.
A great source of information for those planning a trip to the forest is at http://www.fs.usda.gov/arp. Most National Forest visitor centers will be closed for Memorial Day Weekend, so plan your trip early.