John and Candy Hannigan completed the Passport to Parks program in just six months.
- Spent 47 nights in 19 of the parks
- Canoed 21 times in 14 of the lakes and reservoir
- Picnicked in six or seven parks while traveling between campgrounds
“Our favorite is Ridgway in the spring or fall because we like the lake for canoeing. The facilities and staff are great,” Candy said.
They saw a double rainbow at Pearl Lake State Park, and watched breathtaking sunrises at Lathrop and North Sterling state parks.
“Our biggest surprise was Bonny Lake because of its caretaker status,” she said, since budget cuts have forced Bonny Lake State Park down to one lone employee—Park Manager Bob Shade.
For others pursuing all 42 stamps, the Hannigans suggest that visitors call ahead when planning to obtain a stamp in the off season.
“We learned some parks don't have anyone there with the stamp. We were so grateful to the person who put the post-it on the door telling us where to find the stamp and to the ranger at Mancos who told us where to go in Dolores to find the office,” the couple said.
The Hannigans appreciated the assorted scenery that State Parks offers.
“We were amazed at the diversity of the environment we saw in all the parks and loved the amount of wildlife we saw,” Candy said.
Although they have yet to see a moose at State Forest State Park, the couple saw a variety of eagles, herons, ospreys, cormorants, grebes, sand hill cranes, deer, and elk. They also watched as Martin Lake at Lathrop State Park was stocked with tons of rainbow trout.
“We took our son and his family to camp at Golden Gate Canyon in September and had such fun watching our grandsons (ages 4 and 2) help their parents set up a tent,” Candy said. “Then it was exciting to have a family cookout at St. Vrain one night during a family reunion in Niwot.”