Elkhead Reservoir a favorite spot to get outdoors | CraigDailyPress.com

Elkhead Reservoir a favorite spot to get outdoors

Nate Waggenspack

Boating and the Ski Beach (at left) are just two of many available recreation opportunities at Elkhead Reservoir State Park, one of the reasons why it won Best Recreation Area in Moffat County this year.

Moffat County is home to many exciting and beautiful outdoor recreation areas, many of which are in the western part of the county. But in 2014 a popular spot on the eastern edge bested them all.

Elkhead Reservoir State Park was selected the Best Tourist Destination and Recreation Area in Moffat County, a result of many improvements in recent years and the wide variety of activities available at the reservior northeast of Craig.

What used to be just a lake and some camping grounds has undergone a makeover in the past decade. Elkhead is now home to trail systems around the lake, more campgrounds, beaches, overlooks and more.

"The amenities that we've brought to the reservoir have provided some more opportunity in the county," said Ron Dellacroce, park manager for Elkhead and Yampa River State Park. "Whether it's water-based, on the trails or camping, I think it just adds to the great stuff that's in Moffat County."

Elkhead is an especially popular destination in the summer for families enjoying the beaches or getting out onto the lake in boats, but it has also become a favorite spot year-round. There is some hunting opportunity in the fall, summer fishing turns to ice fishing in the winter and the trail system has also begun to get more use during the cold months, Dellacroce said.

"We're seeing an increase in the use of the trails and seeing it year-round," he said. "During the winter there are more people coming out here and enjoying it. We have some fall hunting opportunities, which you don't see in a lot of state parks."

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The plan is for the reservoir to keep improving as a recreation spot.

"There's more coming. We have plans to do more at Elkhead," Dellacroce said. "There needs to be more camping out there, we want to keep expanding the trail system."

While the work done around the lake has made it a more desirable destination, the way Elkhead has been treated by the public has also shown how much they enjoy spending time there.

"It shows that people are enjoying it because the public is take care of a lot of things for us," Dellacroce said. "You see the place is always clean because people enjoy being there. We're grateful that they are a part of it."

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .