Top Outdoor & Wildlife Experiences in Lafayette
Lafayette and nearby Boulder, Colorado take great pride in their offering of numerous parks and green spaces. For those looking for an alternative to the Mile High City, Lafayette offers family-friendly parks and wildlife experiences and is also a perfect base for exploring the mountains and canyon trails around Boulder.
Be sure to check out these great outdoor and wildlife experiences on your next stay in Lafayette, Colorado.
Waneka Lake Park
This family-friendly park offers a lovely short 1.2-mile lakeside fitness trail that is perfect for joggers, walkers, and bikes. Rent a paddleboat and maybe try your skills at paddleboarding during the summer months or simply feed the numerous wild geese from the shoreline.
The lake is a perfect fishing spot for young kids, and you’ll find a nice little playground within the park as well. On the north side of the lake, the Greenlee Wildlife Preserve provides habitat for local wildlife such as foxes and bald eagles. The eastern side of the lake is home to a fun disc golf course.
Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
Once home to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Native American tribes, this preserve offers several multiuse trails that are flat and easy going. Fish for bluegill and catfish in Stearns Lake or search the grasslands for prairie dogs and coyotes. Enjoy fantastic views of Longs Peak in the distance as you scan the skies for kestrels and hawks.
Rock Creek Farm comes alive during the fall season, where you can pick out your own pumpkin in one of the largest pumpkin patches in northern Colorado or simply get lost in over 6 miles of corn mazes.
Just a 15-minute drive south of Lafayette, the Butterfly Pavilion is an indoor tropical conservatory with over 1,600 free-flying butterflies. Tropical butterflies in all colors and sizes fly all around you, and you may even get to witness one emerging from its chrysalis. Butterfly Pavilion contributes to sustainable farming operations in endangered ecosystems by purchasing chrysalises from butterfly farms located throughout the world’s rainforests.
Along with the butterflies, the pavilion is also home to all kinds of other creepy-crawlies. See and learn about giant millipedes, beetles, scorpions, and even hold a tarantula. The outdoor garden trails are a great place to spot native butterflies and insects of Colorado during the summer months.
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
A great new wildlife viewing spot to be opened in the fall of 2018, Rocky Flats NWR will offer 20 miles of trails that will be open to hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. Currently, refuge staff are conducting monthly nature hikes where you may glimpse migrating waterfowl, herds of elk, and possibly even a black bear.
The refuge has managed to stay rather undisturbed for the last 30 to 50 years, allowing wildlife to flourish in the preserve’s grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands. Enjoy panoramic views of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains as you take part in a guided tour, nature program, or peaceful self-guided hike of your own.
For more great outdoor fun, explore nearby Boulder’s famous Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon, and Chautauqua Park.
November 20, 2018
The walk around the Waneka Lake takes half an hour and the views of the lake and especially the mountains are spectacular. The path has some keep fit challenges along the way too. People were friendly and said hello on the way around. There is also a play park for children with restrooms.