Ridgway State Park recognized as February 2022 RACC Member of the Month
Interview with Julie Potts, Ridgway State Park Administrative Manager
How was the Ridgway State Park created?
Ridgway State Park began as a result of the Dallas Creek Project, with completion of the dam in 1987 for water storage and flood control. Further studies indicated a local desire for a water-based recreation facility, making the development of the state park a reality.
What activities can visitors do in the park?
Stretching nearly five miles into the Uncompahgre River Valley, including 1,000 acres of lake waters, Ridgway State Park is a mecca for boaters, swimmers and anglers. Hikers and bikers can also enjoy 14 miles of trails throughout the three sections of the park. The park also offers three campgrounds, ranging from three yurts and full-hookup sites to electrical only and walk-in tent sites.
What is winter like at the park?
Winter is a special time to visit the park, as the wildlife and tranquility take residence here. Our Visitor Center is open year round and winter camping is still available in one of our electric-only loops and walk-in tent sites. We also lend out snowshoes in our Visitor Center for use within the park.
What are some planned winter and spring events?
We have a full moon hike on Wednesday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. that starts at the Visitor Center. Additional full moon hikes are scheduled on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, April 16 with later start times as the days get longer. If needed, snowshoes will be made available. Our Facebook page will also highlight upcoming events: https://www.facebook.com/RidgwayStatePark.
How many employees does the park hire each season?
The park relies on a combination of nearly 60 seasonal staff and volunteers to facilitate the park each spring/summer season. For the upcoming season, we are in need of help in our entrance gates, maintenance, camp hosts, and marina positions. Interested parties can apply for jobs at: www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado and search Ridgway State Park, or for volunteer positions, go to: cpwconnect.state.co.us.
How can park visitors help keep the park beautiful?
Some of the ways that visitors can help preserve the park’s natural resources is by securing food items in bear lockers or vehicles, honoring the “catch and release” practice in our tail waters, and keeping dogs on leashes in restricted areas. All these practices help protect the wildlife that thrives here and preserves the park for the enjoyment of future generations.
What is helpful for visitors to know about staying safe at the park?
A couple of important safety practices include adhering to life jacket requirements, including on paddleboards and kayaks, and not leaving camp fires unattended. Land and Water Regulations are available at the Visitor Center and all three of our entrance gates.
What do you value from being a Ridgway Chamber member?
As a Ridgway Chamber, we value the outreach and effort made by the Chamber to advertise local businesses and happenings throughout the local community. We also value the sense of being part of the community that being a member gives.
To learn more about Ridgway State Park , go to https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/ridgway, call 970 626 5822, email , or visit the park at 28555 Hwy. 550, Ridgway, CO 81432.
For information about other recreation opportunities in the Ridgway area, go to https://ridgwaycolorado.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure.