Boyd Lake State Park, like the other state park reservoirs, is a paradise for water sports. The park, sandwiched between Loveland and Interstate 25 north of Denver, sits within an hour’s drive of much of Colorado’s population. It’s also more lake than land with 1,747 acres of water and 334 acres of land, mostly on the lake’s western shore. Water recreationists congregate at Boyd Lake all summer, with sailboat regattas, power boat races, jet skis, water-skiing, and quiet canoeing. Other visitors swim at the beach, picnic on the lakeshore, and hike or bike on 4.9-mile Boyd Lake Trail, part of the Loveland trail system. The park offers great urban camping at 148-site Cottonwood Campground.
- Boyd Lake has lakeside camping on six loops at modern Cottonwood Campground. The 148 paved, pull-through sites are perfect for RVs up to 40 feet long. All sites have electric hookups, picnic tables, and grills. It’s best to make reservations for weekends and stays longer than two nights. Tent campers are welcome too.
- Boyd Lake features good fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, blue gill, carp, catfish, crappie, trout, walleye, and yellow perch. The summer water temperature is usually in the 60s, with depths up to 45 feet.
- Bring lunch to Boyd Lake. The park offers 67 picnic sites on a first-come first-served basis, most with grills and shade. The Mariner Point Group Picnic Area, for groups up to 200 people, boasts a beach volleyball area, horseshoe pits, playground equipment, fireplace, and grills.
- Take a splash at the swim beach, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, to moderate the hot summer sun. The area includes showers, playground equipment, restrooms, and picnic tables. Some folks complain about motor boats idling near the swimming area.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green