Author(s): Nathan Pieplow
County Seat: Brighton
County Size: 1,182 square miles
Low Elevation: 4,497 ft. - Badger Creek on the Morgan border
High Elevation : 5,665 ft. - DIA Ridge
Best Birds : Ivory Gull (1926), Anhinga (1927)
Checklist : Download pdf | View HTML
Introduction: Adams is an Eastern Plains county at heart. Except for a few tiny settlements along I-70 on its southern border, the eastern three-quarters of the county is virtually uninhabited, containing not a single town. By stark contrast, the western quarter is nearly smothered by the sprawling northeast suburbs of Denver. Right in between is Barr Lake State Park, the undisputed gem of the county as far as birding is concerned, where the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is headquartered.
Description - This small town is isolated enough to be a decent migrant trap. Its tall trees are a haven for Eurasian Collared-Doves.
Habitat - Urban/Suburban
Directions - Bennett is at the junctions of CO 36 and CO 79, one mile north of I-70 exit 304.
Delorme - 41 B7
Roads of Colorado - 74 A1-B1
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 76 B4
Barr Lake State Park
Aliases - Old Stone House (RMBO headquarters), RMBO headquarters (Old Stone House)
Description - See a map here. Just northeast of Denver and northwest of DIA, Barr Lake is the focus of the eponymous state park and home to the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. Bird records for the park go back well over a century, making this historically the best-studied birding site in Colorado. In that time, Barr has added at least eighteen species to the state list. The lake is almost completely surrounded by mature cottonwoods, often several deep with considerable undergrowth, making this an excellent place to find migrant landbirds and riparian breeders. There is some wet meadow and cattail marsh habitat, especially along the south and west edges of the lake, as well as below the dam. The southern half of the lake is a wildlife preserve closed to fishing and boating. When water levels are low, as they often are in fall, shorebirding can be tremendous.
A walking and bike trail circles the entire lake, but most birders concentrate on the area around the Nature Center and the RMBO banding station, along the lake's east side. From the Nature Center, walk west towards the lake over the canal bridge. To get to the banding station, turn right (north). The banding station is about a quarter mile north, where the trail bends hard right near an observation deck. One of the best areas is the low willows in the meadow on the left just before the bend (often festooned with mist nets during migration), but any section of the trees can be good. Note that the banding station hosts many field trips by schoolchildren each spring and fall.
To get to the mudflats by the most popular route, head across the bridge from the Nature Center and turn left (south), then branch right onto the Niedrach trail. At the first sign on the right-hand side of the trail, cut through the trees along a primitive path (the "Lake Bed Trail") towards the water.
Another place for foot access to Barr Lake is near the RMBO office in the Old Stone House in the northwest corner. To reach this place, take the first dirt road south from Bromley Lane (152nd) east of the railroad tracks, about a quarter mile east of the Bromley Lane exit off I-76 (exit #23). There is a sign here for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. Follow the road south to near its end and park in the first wide area before the gate, even if it is open. Walk through the gate to the lake and the dam.
The feedlots along Picadilly opposite Barr Lake State Park (half a mile south of Bromley Lane/152nd Avenue), can attract nice flocks of blackbirds including Great-tailed Grackle.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Marsh, Grassland/Prairie
Directions - To the main park entrance and visitor center from I-76: exit at Bromley Lane (exit #23) and head east. Turn south on Picadilly Road in about one mile. The park entrance is on the left (west) side of Picadilly Road, about a mile and a half south of Bromley Lane. From E-470: exit at 120th Street (exit #34) and go east to Tower Road, north to 128th Avenue, then east to Picadilly, and north on that road to the park entrance. Note that there is no access from eastbound E-470 to eastbound I-76, or from westbound I-76 to westbound E-470.
Delorme - 41 A4-A5
Roads of Colorado - 57 E4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 G11-G12
Aliases - Veterans Park, Getz Nature Area, Morgan-Smith Nature Area, Kenneth Mitchell Park, Elmwood Cemetery
Description - This town near Barr Lake has a few birding spots. Arguably the best is Veterans Park on the South Platte River, which is contiguous with the Getz and Morgan-Smith Nature Areas. The resulting open space contains some mature riparian cottonwood forest worth exploring at all seasons. The parking lot is on the north side of CO 7 on the east side of the river, but some land on the west side of the river is part of the park complex also. Access to this portion is at the northwest corner of the CO 7 bridge.
About a mile south of Veterans Park, a nice big gravel pit lake flanks Kenneth Mitchell Park to the west. Look for diving ducks here in the colder months.
Another mile or so south is Elmwood Cemetery, home to a nice selection of mature conifers that have attracted winter goodies like Bushtit and Bohemian Waxwing in the past and have potential for migrants as well.
At the southeast corner of Bridge Street (160th Avenue) and Telluride, a mile or so west of I-76, is a small housing development pond which doesn't look like much, but can hold a decent number and variety of diving ducks in season.
Habitat - Urban/Suburban, Park/Cemetery, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Stream, Lowland Riparian
Directions - Brighton is north and east of Denver along CO 7, mostly between US 85 and I-76. To get to Veterans Park from US 85, turn west onto CO 7 and proceed a short distance to the parking lot on the right (north) side just before the South Platte River. To get to the reservoir in Kenneth Mitchell Park, from US 85 one mile south of CO 7, turn west onto Bromley Lane. Stay on the road as it curves around to the left, then take a right onto Mockingbird Street, then an immediate left onto Kinglet Court. To get to Elmwood Cemetery, from US 85 and Bromley Lane, go west to Platte River Boulevard and turn left (south). This road becomes Brighton Road, which runs right past the cemetery on its west side.
Delorme - 41 A4
Roads of Colorado - 57 E3-E4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 G11
Mile High Duck Club Lakes
Description - These lakes are privately owned by the Mile High Duck Club and are not generally accessible to the public. However, a few of them can be scanned from public roads, usually at a great distance. Check a few of the potholes (seasonally dry) along Bridge Street (160th Avenue) west of Gun Club Road (CR 18N).
The northernmost of the Mile High Duck Club Lakes can be partially scanned at a distance from the north along 168th Avenue (Weld CR 2) just east of the entrance to the I-25 frontage road. These ponds, one on each side of the railroad tracks, have lots of marsh and some cottonwoods. Check wet fields in this area for ibis in season.
The area along 160th Avenue and south of it along Duquesne (east of Gun Club Road) has many Russian-olives and is a good place to look for winter thrushes and waxwings.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt
Directions - From I-76 exit 22, follow Bromley Lane east for about 1.5 miles to Gun Club Road. Turn left (north) on Gun Club. Turning right on 156th will take you to Duquesne Circle on your left. Continuing straight right on Gun Club will take you to 160th, where a left turn will take you past a couple of the lakes. Turning right will take you towards Harvest Road. Turning left (north) on Harvest, you can drive one mile to 168th, which allows scanning of a few ponds from the north, in addition to the Lochbuie pond described under Weld County.
Delorme - 41 A5
Roads of Colorado - 57 E3-F3
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 G12
Description - A nice, decent-sized urban pond attractive to diving ducks, with an accessible fringe of underbrush and trees. The pond can be scanned through the trees from Naiad Drive to the south; parking is along this road also. At the west end of the lake is Hugh. G. Danahy Park, which contains a few small evergreens and the access point to the fenced lake.
Habitat - Urban/Suburban, Lake/Pond/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian
Directions - From I-25 exit 221, head west on 104th Avenue half a mile to Huron Street. Turn right (north) on Huron. Naiad Drive is the first street on the left, one block north of 104th.
Delorme - 40 A3
Roads of Colorado - 57 D4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 H9
DIA Burrowing Owl Colonies
Description - The oddly shaped area east of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, west of Denver International Airport, and south of Barr Lake has traditionally been very productive for Burrowing Owl. The owls are probably in most of the prairie-dog towns in this area from early April through October. Prairie dog colonies to check (some of them quite small) are along Buckley Road south of 88th (on the Arsenal, at the vehicle closure sign on Buckley); on the west side of 96th Street 3.4 miles east/north of Tower Road; along Picadilly half a mile north of 120th; on the north side of 120th just under a mile east of Picadilly; and on the northwest corner of 120th and Powhatan. Note that several of these sites appear to have degraded considerably in the past few years; it is not clear how productive they may be in the future.
While you're in the area, you might want to explore the seasonally wet pothole along Tower Road 0.4 miles north of 96th Street, which can attract shorebirds or other goodies.
Habitat - Grassland/Prairie
Directions - To get to this area from Denver, head east on I-70 to Pena Boulevard north, following signs to Denver International Airport (DIA). Exit Pena at Tower Road (exit 5) and head north. From Tower Road you can head left onto 80th, then south at the Arsenal boundary to check site #1, or you can head right on 96th to check site #2, or you can head right on 112th to check the remaining sites.
Delorme - 41 B4-A5
Roads of Colorado - 57 E4-F4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 H11-H12; 75 A11-12
Description - Map. This natural area on the border of Broomfield isn't usually very productive for waterbirds, although numbers of ducks are sometimes decent and Trumpeter Swan has shown up. The real draw here is the grove of mature cottonwoods on the north end of the lake, which during migration can host good varieties of Empidonax flycatchers, warblers, and/or foothill birds. Goodies including Palm and Chestnut-sided Warblers and Eastern Phoebe have been found here. Great Horned Owl can often be found roosting in the grove, and it should be checked for Eastern Screech-Owl.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian
Directions - From I-25 exit 225, go west on 136th Avenue one half mile to Huron Street. Turn right on Huron and drive one mile north to 144th. Turn left on 144th. The north parking lot, where the grove is, is on the left (south) side of 144th in 0.9 miles, just before Zuni.
Delorme - 40 A2
Roads of Colorado - 57 D4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 G9
Sand Creek Greenway
Aliases - Star K Ranch Open Space, Morrison Nature Center
Description - Map. The Adams County section of the Sand Creek Greenway contains some very nice habitat, mostly mature riparian forest with a decent smattering of thicker second-growth cottonwoods. Red-bellied Woodpecker and American Woodcock have shown up here, and the place has potential for some excellent landbirding, particularly in migration. West-end parking is at Sand Creek Park, which has some scattered trees and ponds along with respectable creekside tangles towards its east end. East-end parking is at the Morrison Nature Center between Airport Boulevard and Chambers Road; the good habitat extends west almost a mile to Sable and east about a half-mile through the Star K Ranch Open Space almost to Airport. The greenway trail connects west to Bluff Lake Nature Center in Denver County and on beyond, eventually connecting with the South Platte Greenway system. The High Line Canal crosses the Star K property at its southern boundary, but it is nearly unvegetated along this stretch.
Habitat - Lowland Riparian, Stream
Directions - To get to Sand Creek Park, from I-70 exit 281 in east Denver, head south on Peoria approximately half a mile to Sand Creek. The park is on the left (east). To get to the Morrison Nature Center and Star K Ranch, from I-70 exit 283 in east Denver, head south on Chambers Road a little less than a mile to Smith Road (stoplight). Turn left (east) onto Smith and drive approximately one half-mile to the Nature Center access road on the right (south), which does not have a street sign. Look for a couple of small signs for the Nature Center and Star K Ranch.
Delorme - 41 B4-C4
Roads of Colorado - 73 E1
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 75 B11
Jim Baker Reservoir and nearby ponds
Aliases - Lake Sangraco
Description - Jim Baker Reservoir is the focus of a nice park jointly operated by Adams County and the City of Westminster. A footpath encircles the lake, which is rather deep and steep-sided but has an okay patch of marsh along the west side. The northwest portion of the shore has a decent patch of trees and underbrush which is probably worth a check for migrating landbirds. The footpath around the reservoir can be rather busy, however. The lake is visible from its northeast corner, along Lowell Boulevard, but there is no access from the east. However, the small Lake Sangraco and the nameless pond just north of it can be scanned from this stretch of Lowell.
Half a mile southwest of Jim Baker, a decently ducky gravel pond (complete with exotics) can be scanned from Ralston Road just east of its intersection with Sheridan, a hundred yards north of the Sheridan exit off I-76. Right in front of this pond, Ralston splits into two streets; the left one, which becomes 58th Avenue, curves around the lake to the north and east and dead-ends at Tennyson, right in front of a tiny tree-lined gravel pit on the southeast corner of Tennyson and 58th which is best scanned from the north.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Urban/Suburban, Marsh
Directions - From I-76 exit 3, go north on Federal Boulevard about one mile to 64th Avenue. Turn left (west) on 64th and go about three quarters of a mile to Tennyson. Turn left (south) on Tennyson. The parking lot is on the east side of Tennyson about a half mile south of 64th.
Delorme - 40 B2
Roads of Colorado - 72 C1
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 75 B9
Aliases - Mayham Lake
Description - Hidden Lake, marked as Mayham Lake on some maps, is a good-size private body of water in a suburban setting. It can be good in the colder months for diving ducks including Red-breasted Merganser and goldeneyes. A few exotic waterfowl also call this lake home. Best scanning is from the north, in front of the Educational Services Center of Adams County School District 50; another vantage point is a large dirt pullout near the southwest corner of the lake.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Urban/Suburban
Directions - From the south, take I-76 to the Sheridan Boulevard exit (exit 2), then follow Sheridan north. From the north, take US 36 to the Sheridan exit and follow Sheridan south. To get to the north side of the lake, turn east from Sheridan onto 70th Street, then turn right (south) onto Stuart at the "T" intersection. Stuart curves around to the east and becomes 68th, which runs along the north side of the lake in front of the School District building and provides many fine scanning opportunities. To access the southwest vantage point, turn east off Sheridan onto 68th (not the same 68th as mentioned above) and pull almost immediately into the dirt pullout on the left before the town houses begin.
Delorme - 40 B2
Roads of Colorado - 72 C1
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 75 A9
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Description - Formerly a chemical weapons manufacturing site, the Arsenal was severely contaminated by years of disposal of toxic wastes within its boundaries. A Superfund cleanup site since the early eighties, the area is now a National Wildlife Refuge which is being slowly opened to public access as more and more of the land is decontaminated. At present the refuge is only open during the day on weekends, and visitors can only drive to the visitor's center and then walk the trails nearby. The only access into deeper parts of the refuge is via the daily tram tour or other refuge-organized outings. A small herd of bison was reintroduced to the refuge in March 2007.
The area around and just south of the Visitor's Center is mostly grassland with a little bit of yucca, but there are some nice shelterbelts also. Lake Mary, just south of the Visitor's Center, has a boardwalk through a nice cattail marsh. Lake Ladora, a short distance east, is much larger and has attracted scoters and the like. The Woodland Trail is rather a long walk from the Visitor's Center, but it has some nice habitat with lots of mature and not-so-mature cottonwoods.
Even if the Arsenal is closed, the perimeter of it can be scanned from its border roads (56th on the south, Buckley Road on the east, 96th on the north, and Quebec Street and CO 2 on the west and northwest, respectively). Note that Buckley Road is permanently closed to vehicles from 56th north to 80th, but open to foot traffic. Lark Buntings have nested in the northeast corner of the refuge, and Burrowing Owls can be seen from Buckley Road. In winter, Bald Eagles roost on the refuge by the dozens. At one time a viewing site was established along Buckley Road from which visitors could watch the birds settle on their evening roosts, but according to refuge staff the eagles are no longer regular there, having been forced farther into the center of the Arsenal by air traffic at DIA.
URL - Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Habitat - Grassland/Prairie, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Yucca
Directions - To get to the south gate, exit I-70 at Havana Street (exit 280) and head north to the gate at Havana and 56th Avenue. To get to the east side of the refuge along Buckley Road (closed to vehicle traffic), go four miles east on 56th, park and walk north along Buckley.
Delorme - 40 B3, 41 B4
Roads of Colorado - 73 D1-E1
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 75 A10-B11
South Platte Greenway Gravel Pits (north section)
Aliases - Adams County Regional Park
Description - This covers the gravel pits along the South Platte corridor between Adams County Regional Park and Brighton. The first ponds worth mentioning are in the Adams County Regional Park, on the north side of Henderson (a.k.a. 124th Avenue) just west of the South Platte River. You can scan the majority of this water from Henderson, or you can enter the park to avoid missing a single duck.
Across the river from the Regional Park is a very decent little duck pond on the east side of Brighton Road which is best scanned by heading east a short ways on 126th Avenue to the dead end. Possibilities here include all diving ducks as well as grebes and cormorants.
A little further north are two more gravel pit ponds on the west side of Brighton Road, one just south and the other just north of E-470. Both are scannable from the side of the road; the north pond is significantly larger, but also significantly farther away. This pond is just north of 136th Avenue. By going east on 136th and then south on US 85, you can scan four more good-sized gravel pits on the west side of the highway: one immediately north of E-470, one immediately south of it, one 0.5 miles south, and the other a full mile south.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir
Directions - From I-76 exit 12, head north on US 85 towards Brighton. From US 85, turn left (west) onto 124th Avenue (CO 22), which becomes Henderson Road after crossing Brighton Road in about a half mile. To get to the regional park, continue west on Henderson Road a half mile or so to the park entrance on the right. To reach the other ponds mentioned in this section, turn right (north) on Brighton Road.
Delorme - 40 A3, 41 A4
Roads of Colorado - 57 E4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 G11-H11
South Platte Greenway Gravel Pits (south section)
Aliases - 88th and the South Platte, Dahlia Ponds, Sprat Platte Fishing Facility
Description - This covers the gravel pits along the South Platte corridor between about 80th and 104th Avenues, including the area sometimes referred to by birders as "88th and the South Platte" or "the Dahlia ponds." The latter place is the premier spot for wintering waterfowl in the Metro Region. All the regular wintering dabblers and divers can usually be found with a concerted search, and a couple of Barrow's Goldeneyes are usually present, though finding them can sometimes require a long cold walk. Long-tailed Ducks have vacationed in this area a few times also, and such rarities as Little Blue Heron have toured it in spring. There is a good chance for low-density wintering waterbirds such as Killdeer, Great Blue Heron, and Double-crested Cormorant, and the weeds and brush along the river trail can harbor sparrow flocks worth checking for White-throated and Harris'. Thanks to the bird diversity, raptors including Peregrine Falcon often winter in the area.
Many of the gravel pits in this complex can be scanned from the side of Dahlia Avenue south of 88th. Dahlia can be busy, but with caution you should be able to find places to pull over to check all the water on both sides of the road. Some ponds on the west side of the South Platte must be checked on foot. From the parking lot on the southwest corner of 88th and the South Platte, walk a half-mile south to scan a couple of ponds on the west side of the river embankment. Walk a half-mile north from the parking lot to find the pond where the Little Blue Heron spent time. West of here, on the east side of Riverdale Avenue, is a much smaller pond that may attract a few dabblers in migration.
East of Dahlia along 88th a few more ponds become visible. The one to the south is best scanned from Dahlia. The ones to the north are best viewed from the dead end of E. 89th Avenue, which heads west from 88th as the latter street bends north towards the I-76 exit.
Just before the I-76 exit along 88th, you can turn left (north) onto a frontage road west of I-76, then left again onto Monaco Street, which winds around and eventually becomes McKay Road. A large gravel pit well to the west is visible, but not really birdable from the road north of the exit before the river crossing. On the west side of the river, however, before 100th Avenue, there are nice gravel pit ponds on either side of McKay, which can attract good numbers of divers in migration and can be scanned quite adequately from the side of the road. The pond on the left (south) is the euphoniously named Sprat Platte Fishing Facility, operated as a park by the city of Thornton. A few smaller, less productive ponds can be found a half-mile north on the north side of 104th Avenue on either side of where it crosses the South Platte River.
Habitat - Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Lowland Riparian, Stream, Urban/Suburban
Directions - This area is best reached from the 88th Avenue exit off I-76. Following 88th Avenue west from this exit will take you past 1) the frontage road on the right, which will take you to Monaco St north, which becomes McKay; 2) 89th Ave on the right, the short dead-end street with scanning potential; 3) Dahlia St on the left; and 4) the South Platte River, with trailhead parking just beyond it on the left (south).
Delorme - 40 B3
Roads of Colorado - 73 D1, 57 D4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 H10, 75 A10
Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area
Aliases - Rosebud Park
Description - Smashed up against I-76 in the middle of the city, this section of the Clear Creek Greenway has surprising potential. Lowell Ponds SWA, on the west side of Lowell, has numerous small ponds, extensive willow and teasel scrub, and some larger trees and small groves. Check the brushy hillside south of the southmost pond for skulking migrants. The best riparian habitat is at the west end of the property, 1/3 mile west of the parking lot, just east of Tennyson (which has limited street parking).
Rosebud Park, immediately opposite the SWA, has no ponds but more trees. The stretch of the Clear Creek trail from here east 1/3 mile to Federal is one of the most thickly wooded sections of the greenway, and worth checking for both migrant and resident landbirds.
Habitat - Lake/Pond/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Marsh
Directions - From I-70 westbound: at exit 271B, take Lowell Boulevard north about one mile to Lowell Ponds SWA and Rosebud Park, which are opposite one another along Lowell just south of the South Platte River and the I-76 interchange. From I-70 eastbound: at exit 272, take Federal Boulevard north and take a left on 55th Place. This residential road winds a half-mile west to Lowell, meeting that street just a few feet south of the SWA and the park. From I-76: at exit 3, take Federal Boulevard south a short distance to 55th Place.
Delorme - 40 B2
Roads of Colorado - 72 C1, 73 D1
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 75 B9
Northwest Open Space
Aliases - Oscar Arnold Nature Preserve, Windburn Park, Thornton Water Treatment Plant
Description - This park surrounds a small but dense migrant-trap thicket known as the Oscar Arnold Nature Preserve, which is on the south side of 112th a half-mile west of Pecos. South of the thicket is a medium-sized cattail marsh surrounded by weedy fields. If you drive into the Northwest Open Space parking lot (access road just west of the thicket), you can scan one of the holding ponds for the Thornton Water Treatment Plant. The Farmer's Highline Canal trail runs through this area, though the habitat along this stretch is pretty marginal.
Just east of Huron and south of 112th is Windburn Park, with two tiny ponds surrounded by some trees and brush that might be worth a visit on hopping migration days.
Habitat - Urban/Suburban, Lake/Pond/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt
Directions - From I-25 exit 221, head west on 104th Avenue half a mile to Huron Street. Turn right (north) on Huron and proceed one mile north to 112th Avenue. Turn left (west) and go one half mile to Pecos. The Northwest Open Space is on the southwest corner of Pecos and 112th. The Oscar Arnold Nature Preserve is immediately adjacent to 112th on the south side about a quarter mile west of Pecos. The entrance road to the Northwest Open Space complex parking lot heads south from 112th a short distance west of the Nature Preserve.
Delorme - 40 A2-A3
Roads of Colorado - 57 D4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 H9
Eastlake Reservoir #3
Description - The focus of Eastlake Park, this place can be crowded with good numbers and variety of waterfowl. It also boasts a cattail marsh large enough to host any marsh-loving species. To top it all off, there is a nice patch of thick second growth cottonwoods to trap migrants. Like other parks in Thornton, this one has street parking only; perhaps the best parking area is along Fillmore Street north of 124th.
Habitat - Lake/Pond/Reservoir; Marsh; Hedgerow/Shelterbelt; Urban/Suburban
Directions - From I-25 exit 223, go east on 120th Avenue (CO 128) about two miles to Steele Street. Turn left (north) on Steele and go 0.6 miles to 124th Avenue. Turn left on 124th Avenue. Eastlake Park will be on your right. Turn right and park on Fillmore.
Delorme - 40 A3
Roads of Colorado - 57 D4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 H10
Wadley Reservoirs and nearby ponds
Description - Although each is posted with nasty No Trespassing signs, two of the Wadley Reservoirs are visible from public roads. The southeastern one, on the northwest corner of 144th and Colorado, is small, steep-shored and surrounded by cottonwoods. Pulling over is difficult along either busy street.
The southwestern Wadley Reservoir, a half mile west on the north side of 144th, is larger and more productive. Great-tailed Grackle may breed here, and diving ducks can be plentiful in migration. The best places to pull over are all on the south side of the road.
Another medium-sized lake, on the north side of 136th just north of Holly, may be good for diving ducks in season. Note that thanks to the construction of E-470, 136th is no longer a through road; the only access is from the east.
Habitat - Urban/Suburban; Lake/Pond/Reservoir; Marsh
Directions - From I-25 exit 225, go east on 136th Avenue one half mile to Washington Street. Turn left on Washington and proceed north one mile to 144th. Turn right on 144th. The southwestern Wadley Reservoir is on the north side of 144th in about 1.5 miles. The southeastern Wadley Reservoir is about a half mile farther east, on the northwest corner of 144th and Colorado. To get to the third small pond from here, continue east on 144th one mile past Colorado to a T intersection with Holly. Turn left (north) on Holly and go one mile to 152nd Avenue. Turn left (west) on 152nd. The reservoir is on the north in about a quarter mile.
Delorme - 40 A3
Roads of Colorado - 57 D4
Colorado Roads & Recreation - 63 G10