Colorado State Parks: North Sterling

Next up in our series exploring Colorado’s state parks is North Sterling! North Sterling State Park is located in the northeastern corner of Colorado and boasts a 3,000-acre reservoir with many hidden coves ready for exploration.

A close-up photograph of a raccoon sitting in a cottonwood tree, licking its lips.
Photo from Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

North Sterling State Park dates back to the early 1900s, when the reservoir was built along the South Platte River.  Colorado State Parks acquired the property around the reservoir in 1992 to manage wildlife resources and recreation in the area. The park now features three campgrounds, two public boat ramps, an archery range, designated hunting areas, and countless opportunities for wildlife viewing. You can read about all of North Sterling’s amenities and activities in the park’s brochure.

One of North Sterling’s most compelling features is its diverse array of wildlife, especially local and migratory birds. Watchful visitors can catch glimpses of bald eagles, turkey vultures, owls, and a variety of songbirds and waterfowl. The stellar bird habitat is by design – one of the goals outlined in the North Sterling State Park Management Plan is to, “maintain wildlife habitat, particularly raptor and other bird habitat, rare plant habitat, and quality native vegetation areas as much as possible.”

North Sterling’s diverse ecosystems are also home to numerous mammal species. Visitors may encounter mule deer, coyotes, raccoons, and even the elusive red fox while exploring the park’s trails. The reservoir itself is teeming with warm-water fish like tiger muskie, yellow perch, and carp. There is so much wildlife to see at North Sterling that the park’s staff created easy, medium, and hard wildlife-spotting bingo cards! How many species can you spot?

Miranda Doran-Myers
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