State Forest State Park-Gould, CO

*Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Have you ever been pregnant camping? I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but it did feel nice to get outside with the family. A few weeks after this trip, I started having contractions every two minutes and was put on bed rest. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was one of our last outings before our son was born.

We just hit that sweet spot with my older son, where he really started to enjoy his surroundings. We had been camping a couple times, and he was beyond excited to sleep in a tent, go fishing, and catch bugs. For this trip, we tent camped, because we didn’t have our camper yet. Don’t worry, we brought an air mattress for me and my seven-month pregnant belly.

State Forest State Park is typically a 2.5 hour drive from the Boulder area (3+ hours with a toddler) near Walden, CO which is about 75 miles west of Fort Collins.

Directions:

75 miles west of Ft. Collins on Hwy 14, over Cameron Pass or 150 miles north of Denver on Hwy 40 over Berthoud Pass.

 As far as I could tell, we were not close to anything- completely in the wilderness. Right before this trip, my son had his first stitches experience after falling in the shower. We did look up the nearest emergency room since we were still a little on edge. It is only a twenty-minute drive into the town of Walden. Perhaps we weren’t as far out there as it seemed, although, Walden is a very small town with a population of 600.

When we arrived, we registered our car at the Moose Visitor Center. This area is known for moose sightings, but this was our only encounter:

*Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The Moose Center has kid activity packs available to check out. It comes complete with books on wildlife, binoculars, bug boxes, and a magnifying glass. What a great idea!

*Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The Moose Center also gave us a list of kid activities going on that weekend. Our son was three at the time, and these were for slightly older kids. I remember most activities were to earn cub scout badges. We will have to come back when he can participate.

With 71,000 acres of land and 190+ campsites, the park has endless areas to explore. There are eleven different trails and roads used for hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, geocaching, and four wheeling. In the winter, some trails are available for snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Additionally, Agnes Lake, Ranger Lakes, and the North Michigan Reservoir provide boating and fishing activities.

As you can imagine, they have a variety of different camping options as well. You can book a cabin, yurt, tent site, RV site, trailer site, horse site, boat slips and other day use options. Dogs are welcome for a small fee.

We spent two nights at the North Michigan Campground at site 222T.

*Map: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

We were right across from the bathroom. That was necessary. Just a waddles distance away was the North Michigan reservoir. Gorgeous. Our Buzz Lightyear fishing pole caught all the fish that day.

State Forest State Park

Down by the reservoir, we bumped into our friends who live a few miles away and who we originally know from Florida. What a small world! After fishing the day away, we spent the evening grilling out and chatting with friends.

The only downsides to our trip were hopefully unique to us. Being at 9,000 feet and seven months pregnant caused my heart to race just walking to the bathroom and to the reservoir. I imagine those coming from lower elevations might need some time adjusting to the altitude as well.

Downside #2: The tent sites were somewhat private, but the noise traveled far. Most everyone was very respectful and minded their own business-except our neighbors who came to party. Around 11 p.m., we were asleep, but our neighbors started getting wildly drunk, blaring country music and talking loudly. I’m sure this is not always a problem here, but it certainly impacted our quality of sleep.

The most memorable part of this campsite was the spectacular night’s sky. I have never seen the Milky Way so clearly. Being in the middle of nowhere has its advantages.

*Photos: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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