The Denver-metro area is better known for its mountain views than its waterscapes. But just because the city is landlocked doesn’t mean Mile High citizens can’t partake in water activities.
There are 29 “official, publicly accessible lakes and streams in Denver County,” notes Denverite, all maintained by Denver Parks and Rec. On many of these waterways, citizens can enjoy fishing, boating, and dipping their toes into the cool water.
But before heading out, it’s important to understand various restrictions. Denverite offers the following information:
Fishing: This is permitted in “any body of water,” reports Denverite. Take note, though, that it’s not always advisable to eat what you catch. “It’s probably not a good idea to eat anything that comes out of an urban lake or out of one of our streams, Jon Novick of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment told Denverite. Instead, release the fish you catch, which is still a relaxing way to spend the day.
Swimming: The bad news is that “no body of water within Denver has been designated as ‘swimmable,’ according to Novick. “..The concern with the water quality is if you’re swimming, you could swallow water, which might have elevated levels of bacteria, and it could make you sick.” Your canine friends are also at risk “because they might drink the water or lick their fur after getting out.”
Still, you can wade into the water and find cool relief on a hot day (provided you don’t have open cuts or sores that could get infected). And a picnic next to a stream or lake can be an excellent diversion in the summertime.
Boating: Five public lakes in the city allow “hand-launched watercraft—essentially kayaks, rafts, SUPs, canoes, tubes, pedal boats, and similar small, non-motorized vessels.” Hitch the craft of your choice to your car and head out for a fun day on the water.
For more specifics on locations to seek out for water experiences, click here.