While most head west to find adventure in Colorado, there are plenty of spots to explore from south to north along the Interstate 25 corridor. Spend an epic summer day or weekend following this Front Range itinerary that never veers more than 10 miles from I-25.
Get started in southern Colorado
Trinidad Lake State Park offers 2,860 acres of outdoor recreation fun. The main attraction here is the namesake reservoir, a popular spot for water sports and fishing. That being said, perhaps the coolest thing about this park is that an exposure of the Cretaceous-
Paleogene boundary can be seen here. This is a thin band of rock that is associated with a mass extinction event blamed for killing many prehistoric species.
Take time to ponder and reflect
The Coal Mine Wars played a significant role in the state’s early history. In 1914, Colorado National Guard members attacked a camp of 1,200 miners in Ludlow, killing more than 20. Today, Ludlow Massacre
Memorial stands at the site, where remains of the
town still can be seen. Visiting this memorial offers
an important historical and educational lesson.
Make your way to Walsenburg
Continuing north, travelers will find Colorado’s first state park. Situated in the shadows of the stunning Spanish Peaks, Lathrop State Park is home to a lake that
provides plenty of great water recreation opportunities. It’s also home to the only golf course located within state park boundaries. If you opt to stay overnight, there are more than 100 available campsites.
Pull over for this hidden gem
Undoubtedly one of the most ignored natural
destinations in the state, Graneros Gorge sits just south of Pueblo, less than a mile from I-25 in Colorado City. Ancient cliffs rise hundreds of feet from a grassy floor, allowing visitors to stop by for a quick view of the stunning terrain from a nearby overlook.
Stroll along the peaceful river
The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of pueblo is a perfect place to relax. Dine at one of the local eateries, browse more than 50 pieces of art or hop on a boat to cruise the Riverwalk channel. Looking for more to do in the Steel City? Lake Pueblo State Park makes for another fun stop.
Stick your neck out at the zoo
It’s easy to find something to do in Colorado Springs without venturing far from the interstate. You can visit the newly opened U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum downtown. Or you can head for the hills to enjoy the award-winning Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Here you’ll find dozens of top-notch exhibits, with perhaps the most popular featuring giraffes.
Shop, shop, shop until you drop
Castle Rock is named for the iconic butte in the center of town. But it’s known for a collection of shops along I-25. The Outlets at Castle Rock boast discounted prices on name-brand products. Fitting for an outlet mall in Colorado, there are many outdoor recreation gear shops here that let guests save big on pricey items. Find stores such as Black Diamond, The North Face, Fjall Raven and Columbia.
Dive into a day at the aquarium
Head inside for an out there experience at Downtown Aquarium in Denver. Certified scuba divers can swim with sharks in the 400,000-gallon Shipwreck exhibit. In all, more than 500 species call this complex home so there’s plenty to see and do. It also includes a restaurant and bar.
Look out for this birders’ paradise
Despite being a short drive from the bustling interstate, St. Vrain State Park in Longmont is anything but fast-paced. The trails here are simple and straightforward, making this a popular preserve for photographers and birders hoping to spot water-favoring species such as herons and pelicans.
Soak in the sun at sandy beach
Home to a lake that spans 1,700 acres, Boyd Lake
State Park in Loveland is popular among bikers, hikers, swimmers and boaters, as well as those simply looking for a nice picnic spot. In the summer, families flock
here for a relaxing day at the beach. It’s also a reliable location to spot bald eagles.
Cap off your epic trip in style
This journey ends with a stop at one of Colorado’s most iconic breweries — New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. Famous for making beers such as Fat Tire and Voodoo Ranger, New Belgium is one of the largest craft breweries in the U.S. A visit provides a full experience, complete with a tour, a tasting room and a green space regularly filled with local food trucks and lawn games.
This content was originally published here.