On the Water in Loveland, Colorado
- Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
Summertime means long, hot days, ice cream and running through sprinklers, but if you’re lucky enough to visit, there are several places to get on the water in Loveland, Colorado.
Locals know that Boyd Lake offers a plethora of water activities. Boyd Lake State Park has an $8 daily entry fee and is $24 per night for campers. There are 148-paved pull-through campsites that can accommodate vehicles up to 40 feet in length.
The lake is what everyone comes for whether they are camping or just day tripping. Boyd Lake boasts 1,700 surface-aces of water and has a large sandy beach for swimmers. It’s incredibly popular with boat owners who play here all weekend. People also fish, jet ski, sail, canoe and kayak these Northern Colorado waters.
In addition to water sports, Boyd Lake State Park features a 5-mile paved trail great for walking and biking. The area is relatively flat making it great for rollerblading.
One of the most popular new water trends in Colorado is standup paddleboarding or SUPing. In layman’s terms, SUPing is standing and paddling on what appears to be a surfboard, and in fact, originated around 2013 in Hawaii, the land of surfing.
In Colorado, people SUP on lakes and rivers and the boards come in a variety of size, lengths and materials. If you are new to the sport, it’s a good idea to hook up with a business that can teach you the ropes and let you rent a board before buying. A quick internet search shows that SUPs can be rented in Loveland at Mountain Rentals at 401 E. Eisenhower and What’s SUP at 103 W. 4th Street.
If you plan to stay in Loveland to SUP, you can take your board to Boyd Lake. SUPing in the morning or evening on this large body of water means calmer waters
Boedecker Reservoir is another place to get in the water in Loveland. Boedecker is a wakeless lake so it’s great for fishermen, canoes and kayaks. See how to legally access this lake in this guide from the City of Loveland.
Locals tube the Big Thompson River which runs through the city with sections running next to Loveland’s Recreation Trail (read about the River’s Edge Natural Area here). Beware that the river is cold and you float at your own risk. Depending on the time of year, the river can be flowing high or low. Be smart if you choose to float this river in Loveland.
While there is a swim beach at Lake Loveland, the lake is private and only lakeside homeowners can put boats on the water here.
Splash Parks in Loveland
If you’d rather play at a splash park than a lake or river, visit one of Loveland’s splash parks. Loveland Sports Park is located in the eastern part of the city and features multiple soccer fields, a skate park, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic pavilions and a splash park. There are also splash parks at The Promenade Shops at Centerra and at Fairground Parks just south of downtown Loveland.
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is a longtime Loveland resident, founder of HeidiTown.com and author of Mountain Living’s The Heidi Guide. She specializes in festivals and travel in The West.