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Fall in Colorado is a time of change, of transition in nature and the color of our outdoors. The refreshing green of summer quaking aspen leaves turn to a brilliant and glittering gold and rust as the trees display a fall calm, a view of beauty and sense of quiet and peace.
It is a time to travel, a time to slow one’s pace, to absorb and soak in the color of Colorado. Fishing and hunting are two of our constants though out the year, but the fall beckons those who look beyond the rivers and forests.
The diversity of Colorado birds (local and migrating) and wildlife attract bird and wildlife watchers from a variety of corners of the western states. A search of the Colorado Birding Trail Network online will provide a list of birds and wildlife watching sites across state. Some can be viewed from the car, others by trail and more challenging, yet exciting, back country treks.
The state’s 26 scenic and historic byways connect many of the birding trails and sites. And the sites will be found across the state’s vast eastern prairie, to the extensive collection of 14,000 foot peaks (14ers), the canyons and valleys of the Western slope. Mixed in among the geology are many small communities beaming with museums of local history and abandoned gold and silver mining towns with a quiet history of how Colorado was discovered and how it matured.
A few of the not-to-miss history centers include Trinidad community and Santa Fe Trail, Pueblo and the Chile and Frijoles Festival, the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. A short drive out of Colorado Springs will place you in Pikes Peaky country and on the 14,114 sky view of both the mountains and plains that blend together to make Colorado so unique.
In this region birders may find some of the 400 documented avian species, a population that exceeds any other sites and regions in North America. Five of the seven major river basins that originate high along the western continental divide offer a variety of other bird species and habitats that will enhance the birding experience. The geological marvels of western Colorado are show cased along the Colorado River view of the layered rock display in Glenwood Canyon. Equally impressive are the hay meadows and sprawling ranches near Walden in North Park; similar waters of the expanding Colorado River near Granby in Middle Park and the small streams that join to form the South Platte River system in South Park near the county seat of Fairplay.
Colorado birding sites integrated in the complex of high mountain ranges and rolling plains across the Mile High State are endless. Make your plans for a fall view of Colorful Colorado.
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