North Sterling State Park encompasses 5,700 acres of grasslands and water, on the high plains in Northeast Colorado. It’s centered around North Sterling Reservoir, which is nearly 3,000 surface acres when full. The park is located about 30 minutes north of town.
It’s a premier place to boat and fish in northeastern Colorado. This large state park lies about 30 minutes north of Sterling in the high plains. There’s a lot to do in this oasis in the desert, including biking, birding, boating, fishing, hiking, hunting and horseback riding. Due to it’s location, North Sterling gets a lot of wind and afternoon thunderstorms in the spring.
There are 3 campgrounds and 141 campsites, most with electric hookup, some basic. They charge for either electric or basic campsites, all with covered table, fire pit, tent pad. A plus to camping at the park, is a camper services building, with restrooms, showers, laundry and water faucet, all open 24 hours.
Activities at North Sterling Reservoir
Biking: The South Shoreline Trail is a 3.5 mile prairie trail along the reservoir.
Boating: The park is centered around the 3,000 acre, 74,590 volume (acre-feet) North Sterling Reservoir. 2 boat ramps, open to motor boats, jet skis, water skiing, and sailboarding. Closed to all boating October 1st through April 15th.
Camping: There are 2 lakeside campgrounds, and 1 on a hillside overlooking the lake; open year round, 141 total sites. Coin operated showers and laundry in 2 camper services buildings. Reservations
- Fees for Basic and Electric
- Read about the camping near Sterling and North Sterling Reservoir.
Fishing: Reservoir has several access points. Fish types include bass, channel catfish, pike, trout, walleye, wiper bass, yellow perch.
- Darby Arm – stellar wiper and walleye fishing, also channel catfish
- Cunningham Arm – try Goose Island and Rookery Point for walleye
- Trolling Along the Dam – wiper, crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch
Hiking: Enjoy peace, quiet and wildlife on non-motorized trails.
- Balanced Rock Trail – 1250 feet, round trip
- Dam Pedestrian Path – 1 mi, one way
- Sunset Point Trail Loop – 0.2 mi, round trip
- Inlet Triangle Loop – 1 mi, round trip
- South Shoreline Trail – 3.1 mi, one way
Horseback Riding: Allowed on South Shoreline Trail, south of the Inlet Canal. There is no stable or horses for rent.
Hunting: Waterfowl, small game, mule deer hunting in fall and early winter permitted in designated ares from the Tuesday after Labor Day to the Thursday before Memorial Day. Only shogun and bow hunting are permitted.
Picnicking: 38 picnic sites and two reservable group campgrounds.
Swimming: Cottonwood Cove Swim Beach and swim area opening during summer season. A pavilion, playground and picnic areas are nearby. Pets aren’t allowed on the beach.
Winter Recreation: Camping, hunting, hiking and wildlife watching. Ice fishing may be available, conditions permitting.
Visitor Center: Has info, exhibits and a small gift shop. Also rents free equipment including life jackets, family activity backpacks with binoculars, field guides and a GPS for geocaching. Firewood, bagged ice, fishing supplies, soda and other supplies are for sale.
Address: 24005 County Rd 330, Sterling, CO
Season: Year round
Hours: 24 hours, day-use, 6am-10pm
Pets: Yes, on leash
Fees: Yes, vehicle entry fee for day