Curt Gowdy State Park Article

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Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park 1.jpg
circa 2008
Map showing the location of Curt Gowdy State Park
Map showing the location of Curt Gowdy State Park
Map showing the location of Curt Gowdy State Park
Map showing the location of Curt Gowdy State Park
Location Laramie, Albany, Wyoming, United States
Coordinates 41°10′25″N 105°13′36″W / 41.17361°N 105.22667°W / 41.17361; -105.22667
CURT GOWDY STATE PARK Latitude and Longitude:

41°10′25″N 105°13′36″W / 41.17361°N 105.22667°W / 41.17361; -105.22667
Area3,395 acres (13.74 km2) [2]
Elevation7,598 ft (2,316 m) [3]
Established1971
(renamed for Gowdy in 1972)
Named for Curt Gowdy, sportscaster
Visitors150,653 (in 2015) [4]
Governing body Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites
Website Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park is a public recreation area in the western United States, located in Wyoming on state highway 210. It is halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie, about 25 miles (40 km) from each, in Albany and Laramie counties.

The state park covers 3,395 acres (5.3 sq mi; 13.7 km2) and is known for its extensive trail system, fishing reservoirs, and Hynds Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is managed by the Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites. [5]

History

The park was established 47 years ago 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 (3.9 sq mi; 10.0 km2). The following year, it was renamed in honor of national sportscaster and outdoorsman Curt Gowdy (1919–2006), a Wyoming native. [6] Born in Green River, he was raised in Cheyenne and was a two-sport varsity athlete ( basketball, tennis) at the university in Laramie.

In 2006, the park saw initiation of an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) trail improvement project. [7] The trail system earned the IMBA's "Epic" designation in 2009. [8] 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. [9]

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. [10] To accommodate the park's newfound popularity, a new state-of-the-art, green-certified, visitor center was opened in 2014. [8]

Geography

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 (2,290 m). [11] Wildlife that can be found include: kokanee salmon, perch, brown, rainbow and lake trout, white-tailed deer, and mule deer. [5] 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. [12]

Activities and amenities

The park offers over 35 miles (55 km) of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. [8] Other activities include boating, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, camping, rockhounding, and archery.

References

  1. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Protected Planet. IUCN. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Table 1. Facilities managed by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails" (PDF). SOAR 2021. Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. p. 12. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Wyoming Places. Wyoming State Library. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "Visitor Use Program". Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails. 2015. p. 5. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Curt Gowdy State Park". Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails. State of Wyoming. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Epics. International Mountain Biking Association. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Curt Gowdy State Park Trails" (PDF). Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  9. ^ Korn, Marjorie (March 17, 2009). "Wyo looks to expand trails at state parks". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Public Lands Information Center. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "Curt Gowdy State Park". Wyoming Tourism. Archived from the original on April 17, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012.

External links