Celebrate Ridgway with party at the park

To mark the 25th anniversary of Ridgway State Park, the Bureau of Reclamation will host a day-long public celebration Saturday.

The park, about 20 miles south of Montrose on U.S. Highway 550, was created as part of the Dallas Creek project, which also included the dam on the Uncompahgre River that formed Ridgway Reservoir.

The 1,000-acre reservoir stores water for municipal, agricultural and industrial uses for the Uncompahgre Valley in western Colorado and recently began power production with a small hydropower unit.

Parks and Wildlife officials say the reservoir, which is regularly stocked with rainbow trout, attracts more than 300,000 visitors to the park annually.

The park includes bike and hiking trails, 285 campsites, a swim beach, boat ramp, cabins and yurts, shower-restroom buildings and a kids playground.

Included in Saturday’s free events are boat and ground tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; a live concert by folksinger David Nunn at the swim beach from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and a history booth and displays available all day to showcase the park and surrounding area.

A new diorama will be displayed for the first time at the visitor’s center.

For children, the regular Saturday “Nature Detectives” program will be offered starting at 9:30 a.m.

Local adventurer Aaron Ihinger will talk about the tallest 100 mountains in Colorado in a program entitled “Colorado’s Centennial Peaks” starting at 7:30 p.m. at the visitors’ center.

All the programs are free. Entry to the park is $7 per vehicle, or $70 for an annual pass. To make reservations to camp at the park, call 1-800-678-2267 or 1-303-470-1144, or go to:

http://coloradostateparks.reserveamerica.com.

For information, call 970-626-5822.

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