Merino, CO is a small rural community located 114 miles northeast of Denver and acts as the gateway to the Pawnee National Grasslands. The town was population was 284, according to the 2010 United States Census.
The town has a history dating back to the 1860s. Its earliest settlers ran a stage stop for those pioneers passing through using the South Platte Trail. Like most towns in Colorado when the railroad arrived (in 1881) the town grew and became a place where businesses made their home and families raised their children. While most of the main street has since been abandoned, there is still a daily freight train that makes its way through town on their way out west.
Pawnee National Grassland – A sea of grass found in Colorado’s northeastern part of the state on the eastern plains offers a unique geographical landscape completely different from the mountains out west. Popular activities include hiking the Pawnee Buttes, birding, and camping.
Pawnee Pioneer Trails – The Pawnee Pioneer Trails Byway follows the original path of the old Native American and pioneer trails throughout the open plains. The highway is 125 miles long and will take about two hours to drive. The easiest access to the scenic byway from Merino is via Sterling, continuing on Highway 14.
Merino is located near the South Platte River, which provides plenty of fishing opportunities. The Prewitt Reservoir (five miles away) is also a great place for fishing, boating, dispersed camping, and hunting.
Camping: Read about the camping near Sterling and North Sterling Reservoir.
Activities near Merino
State Wildlife Areas:
- Prewitt Reservoir SWA (4mi)