Monday, June 28, 2010

Mueller State Park

This weekend we camped at Mueller State Park. We had never been here before, but it quickly turned into one of our favorite places. True forest camping in Colorado is pretty rare, usually campsites are fairly open. At Mueller State Park you were definitely camping in the forest. There were no vast open areas and which is a nice change. There are lots and lots of hiking trails varying in length from kid-friendly to challenging. We took a medium hike (almost three miles round trip) on Cahill Pond Trail.

After hiking for a little while, we came across an old log house to explore (from the outside only of course).

Along the trail, the kids were able to discover many, many signs of the animals that live here. They identified coyote, deer, owl and even bear scat. We came across a bone yard left behind from some animal's dinner.

Along the way, we could see how the elk and deer were eating and rubbing on the aspen. Every tree in the area had the tell-tale black markings on the bottom of their trunks.

At the half way point, we made it to the pond were a family of ducks had made their own. We also found some big, scary looking bear tracks left behind in the mud along the edge.

On the loop back, the kids started to get a little tuckered out, but they held their own. Apparently it helps when you have a giant walking stick to help you along.

Back at the campsites, we discovered a lean-to for the kids to explore. Don't worry, the outside looks a lot more unstable then it really is on the inside.

The kids had fun finding new branches to add to the existing pile as well as adding their own decorating touches such as a "chandelier" and a "popcorn-maker".

Yes, we definitely want to come back here some day.

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