By Linda Groat
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Program Coordinator
DIVIDE, Colo. – The forests at Mueller State Park are throwing an end-of-summer party for everyone who hikes, rides a horse or drives through the park this month.
Or so it seems.
The aspen stands are turning golden and the fall colors are accompanied by the music of elk bugling in the fall rut.
What more do you need to hear to get you to visit Mueller?
How about a firewood sale by the Friends of Mueller State Park to raise money for the park?
The park will be holding an assortment of free hikes, fly fishing clinics and even a “forest bathing walk” during October for guests.
A special program this month is Fly Fishing II. More than our typical Fly Fishing Basics class, this program is designed to be the next step, to help you to understand the gear, methods and strategy of fly fishing. For anyone who wants to learn more about fly rods, line weight, dry or wet flies, matching the hatch – and what it all means. Reserve your spot in this new class today.
Here is the full list of October programs at Mueller:
Friday, Oct. 6
2-3 p.m. Meet at the Visitor Center
Do you have good observation skills? What belongs in nature and what doesn’t? Join Volunteer Naturalist Rusty for a program that encourages kids 5 and up to observe and see what they can spy.
Sat-Sun, Oct. 7-8
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. North end of the park
The Friends of Mueller State Park will be holding a firewood sale to raise funds to support park projects. All summer, forestry work has been going on to reduce the chance of a wildfire and improve wildlife habitat. As a result, there is lots of wood available for your woodstove. Come early while the supply lasts. The sale often sells out the first day. Pickup loads only, no trailers. See their website: friendsofmuellersp.com/
Sunday, Oct. 8
Elk Meadow Hike
9 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
Volunteer Naturalist Rose leads a 2.5-mile hike over the rolling hills in the north end of the park and near large groves of aspen in fall color with great views of Pikes Peak.
Saturday, Oct. 14
Fly Fishing Basics Plus
10 a.m.-2 p.m. At the Visitor Center
If you’ve taken Mueller’s 2-hour, basic fly fishing class, this class is the next step.Instructors will help you to understand fly fishing gear, of all kinds, from waders to weights.
Also included will be instructions on insect life cycles, how to “match the hatch,” how to read the water, identify different flies, rigs and casts.
If you’ve felt overwhelmed in a fly shop, this class is for you. We’ll spend 3-hours in the morning in the classroom, then 1 hour after lunch at Dragonfly Pond.
Bring your own lunch. Bring your own rod or use one of ours.
Class is limited. Reserve a space by calling the Visitor Center 719-687-2366. For guests ages 12 years and up, only.
Sunday, Oct. 15
School Pond Hike
9 a.m. Meet at School Pond Trailhead
Join Volunteer Naturalist Rose on a 2-mile hike to observe the changing seasons, migrating birds, the fading wildflowers and, if you’re really lucky, wildlife prepping for winter.
Saturday, Oct. 21
2-3 p.m. Meet at the Visitor Center
Volunteer Naturalist Rusty teaches basic survival techniques in the woods for kids 5 and up. Go home with some survival items and skills.
Sunday, Oct. 22
Forest Bathing Walk
10 a.m. Meet at the Visitor Center
Unplug and enjoy a slow time in autumn’s beauty through the wellness practice of Forest Bathing/shinrin-yoku. Join Nature and Forest Therapy Guide Jane for this mindful, 1-mile, sensory based wander to connect closely with nature, ending with forest tea brewed from local plants. Bring a sit pad if you have one, water and a small backpack for hands free.
Recommend for ages 12 and up.
Mueller events are free for any guest with a $10 day pass, a $29 Keep Colorado Wild annual pass or an $80 annual vehicle park pass. For more information, call the park at 719-687-2366.
Mueller State Park is located 45 minutes from Colorado Springs along Colorado Highway 67, just 3½ miles south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 24 at Divide on the west side of Pikes Peak.