Curt Gowdy State Park

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Curt Gowdy State Park
Wyoming State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park 1.jpg
Named for: Curt Gowdy
Country United States
State Wyoming
Counties Laramie, Albany
Elevation 7,598 ft (2,316 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°10′25″N 105°13′36″W / 41.17361°N 105.22667°W / 41.17361; -105.22667Coordinates: 41°10′25″N 105°13′36″W / 41.17361°N 105.22667°W / 41.17361; -105.22667
Area 3,552 acres (1,437 ha) [2]
Established 1971
Management Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites
Visitation 120,000 [3]
Curt Gowdy State Park is located in Wyoming
Curt Gowdy State Park
Location in Wyoming
Website: Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park is state-operated, public recreation area located on Wyoming Highway 210, halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie, 24 miles (39 km) from each city, in Albany and Laramie counties, Wyoming. The state park covers 3,552 acres (1,437 ha) and is known for its extensive trail system, fishing reservoirs, and Hynds Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]

History[edit]

The park was established in 1971 through a lease agreement with the City of Cheyenne and the Boy Scouts. It was originally called Granite State Park and covered 2,473 acres (1,001 ha). In 1972, it was renamed in honor of Wyoming native and sportscaster Curt Gowdy (1919–2006).[2]

In 2006, the park saw initiation of an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) trail improvement project.[5] The trail system earned the IMBA's "Epic" designation in 2009.[6] In 2009, Wyoming began a program to build additional hiking trails in several Wyoming state parks. Curt Gowdy State Park served as the pilot project for the program, with 32 miles of additional trails. The state required that the newly built trails do not fundamentally alter the landscape of the park. Funding for the trails came from federal and state funds and private donations.[7]

Trail improvements resulted in a substantial increase in visitorship with number of annual visitors to the park increasing from 56,000 in 2006 to 120,000 in 2013.[3] To accommodate the park's newfound popularity, a new state-of-the-art, green-certified, visitor center was opened in 2014.[6]

Geography[edit]

Park terrain consists of rolling hills and sharp granite outcroppings in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. Elevation ranges from 6,450 feet (1,970 m) to over 7,500 feet (2,300 m).[8] Wildlife that can be found include: kokanee salmon, perch, brown, rainbow and lake trout, white-tailed deer, and mule deer.[4] The park is divided into seven sections centering around three reservoirs: Granite Springs, the largest, Crystal, the smallest, and the isolated North Crow, located northwest of the main park.[9]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park offers over 35 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding.[6] Other activities include boating, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, camping, rockhounding, and archery.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Wyoming Places. Wyoming State Library. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Dennis Henry (April 12, 2014). "Curt Gowdy State Park Visitor Center Interpretive Plan" (PDF). Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. p. 2. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Benzel, Lance (July 17, 2014). "Thrills in store for mountain bikers at Wyoming's Curt Gowdy State Park". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Curt Gowdy State Park". Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails. State of Wyoming. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Epics. International Mountain Biking Association. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Curt Gowdy State Park Trails" (PDF). Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ Korn, Marjorie (March 17, 2009). "Wyo looks to expand trails at state parks". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved January 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Public Lands Information Center. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Wyoming Tourism. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]