Niedrach Nature Loop, Barr Lake State Park, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado

Niedrach Nature Loop - 0.6 miles

Barr Lake State Park

Canada geese take flight over Barr Lake

Canada geese take flight over Barr Lake

Round-Trip Length: 0.6 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,130' - 5,130'
Elevation Change: no elevation gain
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Niedrach Nature Loop - 0.6 Miles Round-Trip

Barr Lake State Park is located in Brighton, CO, northeast of downtown Denver in Colorado's eastern plains. Barr Lake attracts over 350 migratory and resident avian species, notably bald eagles, which can number in the dozens. Visitors may also see white pelicans, great blue herons, cormorants, egrets, and several types of hawks and falcons.

Barr Lake is also home to coyote, badger, fox, and rabbit, and one of few places in the Denver front range where mule deer and white tail deer commingle.

The Niedrach Nature Loop is named after Robert Niedrach, a dedicated Colorado naturalist who was the first to record many of the birds who call Barr Lake State Park home.

The trail crosses a bridge and meanders through a marsh and cluster of cottonwood to a series of boardwalks on the lake shore. Enjoy interpretive signs detailing the lake's flora and fauna, and a covered gazebo with a wildlife viewing scope. The trail loops back to Barr Lake Nature Center and parking lot.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N39 56.288 W104 45.129 — Nature Center Trailhead

Worth Noting

  • Barr Lake State Park is the headquarters of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.

  • Before settlement, Barr Lake was a deflation basin used by buffalo as a wallow. In the 1880s a dam was built on its north side, and water was diverted from the South Platte River to fill the newly formed Oasis Reservoir. After years of degradation, a massive flood in 1965 diluted pollution and gave the state a second chance to restore its natural purity and habitat. The state of Colorado purchased surrounding lands in 1975 and designated it a State Park.

Fishing Information

  • Fishing is permitted in designated areas at Barr Lake State Park. A valid Colorado fishing license is required.

  • You may fish from the shore or registered small boat on the north side of Barr Lake. Fishing is not permitted in the Wildlife Refuge or from the Barr Lake Dam.

  • Rainbow trout, walleye, small and large-mouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, wiper and tiger muskie are among species that have been stocked at Barr Lake by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Review the current Colorado Fishing Regulations for special restrictions.

Rules and Regulations

  • There is a $7 fee to enter Barr Lake State Park.
  • Dogs are permitted at Barr Lake State Park, but restricted to certain areas. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Dogs are not permitted in the Wildlife Refuge located within the southern half of the lake.

  • Horses, bicycles, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are permitted on the Lake Perimeter Trail.

  • Horses are not permitted on the Crest Trail (the dam); an alternative passage runs just below it to the north.

  • Swimming is not permitted at Barr Lake State Park.

  • Waterfowl hunting is permitted during legal waterfowl seasons and only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hunting is restricted to blinds located north of the dam, and registration is required. Reservations can be made between 2 days and 2 weeks in advance of the hunting date. Contact the park office for current hunting restrictions and information. No other hunting or trapping is permitted in the park.

Directions to Trailhead

Barr Lake State Park is located in Brighton, Colorado, just northeast of downtown Denver.

From E-470
Take Exit 34 (120th Ave) and travel .5 miles east to Tower Road. Turn left on Tower Road and follow it 3.0 miles to Picadilly Road (note that Tower Road will bend and seamlessly become 128th). Make a left on Picadilly Road and follow it 1.1 miles to the Barr Lake State Park entrance on the left.

From Denver
Take I-76 northeast, exit on Bromley Lane. Go east to Picadilly Road, then south to the park entrance.

Contact Information

Barr Lake State Park and Wildlife Refuge
13401 Picadilly Road
Brighton, CO 80603
Phone: 303-659-6005

Office Hours: 9AM - 4PM Wed - Sun, Closed Mon and Tues

Park Hours: 5AM - 10PM

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