Coloradans know that just because the weather is cold and snowy, that doesn’t mean we can’t get active outside. When you can’t make it to the slopes to ski or snowboard, outdoor fun is just steps away from your Solstice™ community at Chatfield State Park. We are all about fun activities for the whole family at Solstice’s neighbor, Chatfield State Park and Reservoir.
Nestled into the foothills of the Front Range mountains, Chatfield State Park comprises over five thousand acres of trails, water, and open space for a huge variety of outdoor activities. The park curves around the glittering Chatfield Reservoir, which is fed by the South Platte River and two other local waterways. Chatfield State Park is open year-round to hikers, boaters, fishers, and anyone looking to escape into the great outdoors. Conveniently located just steps from Solstice™ homes outside of Littleton, Solstice™ residents can get lost in nature — and still be back for dinnertime.
While some may be intimidated by winter’s chill, others welcome the peace and uncrowded times that winter brings to Colorado’s parks. Chatfield State Park has 26 miles of trails crisscrossing the park, 12 miles of which are paved. Bundle up the family for a snowy walk through frozen fields and woods, or bring snowshoes to go off-trail. Biking in winter provides true cardiovascular benefits: Just be sure you’re prepared with winter biking gear first. For those looking for a lower-impact way to explore the park in winter, the Chatfield Stables are open year-round for visits with the horses and trail rides.
Get immersed in nature
While some animals hibernate during the winter, many others are active in Chatfield State Park all year. Some animals you can spot include whitetail and mule deer, rabbits, foxes, elk, and even coyotes. The park also houses the Denver Audubon Nature Center for bird-watchers — over 200 bird species have been observed at Chatfield over the course of a year, including rare birds like bald eagles and owls. Bring your binoculars and this printable checklist for birdwatching, and marvel at the beautiful variety of Colorado’s wildlife.
Chatfield Reservoir is open to ice-fishing during the winter, and the lake is packed with plentiful fish species like rainbow trout, bass, perch, bluegill, and sunfish. The reservoir is closed for boating between December 1 and March 1, so no need to worry about an errant boat wake scaring away your catch. Just remember: Always wear a life jacket, and follow ice fishing best practices to stay safe and dry.
Winter plant life
Near Chatfield State Park is the Denver Botanic Gardens, Chatfield: This 700-acre haven houses native plants, outdoor sculptures, and plenty of fields for strolling. Though the gardens may not be bursting with flowers and plants as in summer, the Denver Botanic Gardens has plenty of indoor attractions, as well as winter events and programming for the whole family. Check out their events page for more information on upcoming programs at both their Chatfield Farms and York Street locations.
Bring a furry friend
Chatfield State Park is heaven for dogs and dog-lovers alike, with almost 70 acres of fenced off-leash space for pups to play, roam, and socialize. Pick up a Park Pass at the Entrance Station or the Park Office — if you’re bringing a dog to play in the off-leash areas, you’ll also need to acquire a Dog Off-Leash Area pass. Passes are available by the day, or annually for frequent visitors.
The whole family can join in on games and activities in the park’s ample open space. Bring a sled (or a trash can lid in a pinch) to slide down snowy hills, make snow angels, or build a snowman together. (Don’t forget to bring along a carrot for a nose!) Create a snow maze using packed snow, or build a fort and crawl inside. After your snowy games are done, take a quick drive down Chatfield Lake Road to warm up with steaming drinks at Atlas Coffee. They serve traditional hot and cold coffee and tea drinks, as well as seasonal specialties like maple syrup and brown sugar lattes, or an iced chai with a cold brew kick.
Chatfield State Park is just one of the many outdoor spots that make Solstice™ so special — from the frozen days of winter to hot summer afternoons. To learn more about our home collections and floorplans, amenities, and community events, visit us online or in person today!