September 22, 2014
There’s an 18.8 mile paved bicycle path that loops around the reservoir, and I’m not sure if the walking path we were on – the “Lake Perimeter” trail – remains a dirt path close to the water’s edge the whole way around the lake, or if you have to merge with the bike path if you want to do a full loop. We didn’t go all the way around because it would be at least fifteen miles and I wasn’t up for that. Starting near the Pine Cove boat ramp, we walked counter-clockwise around the lake 2.5 miles and back. It was beautiful!
Even though the effects of beetle damage were significant, there were plenty of trees. We went during autumn solstice, and the trek was like walking through Nature’s art gallery. Gold coin Aspen leaves sparkled against an intense azure sky. We also saw plenty of baby evergreen trees sprouting amidst beetle damage rubble, which gave me hope that beetle-resistant trees were evolving. Mind you, if beetle-resistant trees developed, a new parasite would evolve, and the Red Queen would keep on running.
(See The Red Queen’s Race.)
My favorite hikes are those with trees, water, and my dog. This leisurely walk had all three. Elevation was negligible, and there were plenty of places to take a dip along the way (but neither you nor your pooch are allowed to swim in the reservoir.) Just like everywhere in Colorado, the water level has dropped a great deal. What was once an island is now an isthmus, which is kind of cool because you can walk to it.
We parked at the Pine Cove campground because we were camping there, but if you just want to come for the trek, you may want to try parking somewhere else near the reservoir and walking toward water until you get to the path because there is a forest fee and a campground fee if you park at the campground. So, to get there, navigate to Dillon Reservoir, find parking, and then walk to the water’s edge.
Yes, your dog is supposed to be kept on a leash.
Yes, the reservoir.