Estes Park, Colorado, is a beautiful city with a lot to see and do. The entire town is worth exploring -it's absolutely gorgeous. There's no shortage of activities in the area, but my dogs were particularly smitten with a pair of small parks on the west side of town.
Performance Park and Tregent Park are located along the Fall River, which runs through the city. Performance Park has a free public parking lot with ample room (assuming there are no actual performances taking place).
My dogs love to play in creeks and are immediately drawn to them. When we parked near the small flowing river, the girls were suddenly bursting with excitement. Naturally, they pulled towards the inviting and fun-looking Fall River. This place was already a hit!
There were stone steps leading down to the water, which the dogs were compelled to explore. The river was clear and cool, and there were shallow spots perfect for wading. After an initial dip, the girls were ready to continue exploring this lovely town.
We followed the sidewalk as it led back and to the left, in the direction of Performance Park. The walkways here were absolutely charming. They were immaculately landscaped. Rockwork and flowers lined the paths, making for a delightful place to take a stroll. We were on the western end of the Estes Park Riverwalk -the paved path that follows the flowing water and spans most of the town.
We made our way into Performance Park. Towards the back of the park is a popular rock climbing wall. The dogs were only briefly interested in the activity before continuing on.
The park is home to a large stage and is normally busy with various shows and performances (hence the name of the park). The usually crowded park happened to be empty during our visit. The girls were happy to sniff around the grassy grounds. They took a moment on the stage, looking out to their imaginary crowd of cheering fans.
We continued back along the sidewalk, following the river. Soon we crossed the footbridge into Tregent Park. A bronze statue known as 'Cowboy in the River' stood in the creek, and is one in a series of statues scattered around Estes Park.
Tregent Park had interesting cement terracing and large flower beds. It was a splendid place to sit and hang out by the enchanting river.
Just past Tregent Park was the beginning of the busy shopping district. The streets here were jam-packed with shops, restaurants, and unique little businesses. The girls enjoyed walking down the street, looking at all the interesting things along the way. Maggie was keen to make friends with every person she met, and was happy conning strangers into petting her. However, Ursa wasn't too fond of the crowds and soon decided she'd rather head back towards the calm and quiet parks.
Once back at Tregent Park, the girls happily sniffed flowers and looked out over the water. We enjoyed a treat break on the terrace while watching the creek flow by. We all really loved this delightful place, but eventually it was time to head back towards the car.
The lights along the walkway began to glow as the sun started to set. When we reached the parking lot, the girls were determined to have one more dip in the Fall River. After a short romp in the water, the dogs decided they'd had enough excitement for one evening and were ready to go.
We were happy just to spend a few hours in one of America's most beautiful cities. We loved it here and wished we had more time to see everything that Estes Park has to offer.
We can't wait to come back and explore more of this gorgeous place!