Located 3 miles west of town on Colo. 12, Trinidad Lake State Park (tel. 719/846-6951; www.parks.state.co.us) is the place to go for all sorts of outdoor recreational possibilities, and it's also a good base for campers who want to explore southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Its 800-acre reservoir on the Purgatoire River is popular for powerboating, water-skiing, sailboating, and sailboarding. Swimming is prohibited, however. There's a boat ramp and dock, but no boat rentals or supplies. Fishermen go after largemouth bass, rainbow and brown trout, channel catfish, walleye, crappie, and bluegills. Ten miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails here include the Levsa Canyon Nature Trail, a 1-mile self-guided loop that also branches off for another 4 miles to the historic town of Cokedale. For those with their own horses, there are 4 miles of equestrian trails on the south side of the lake. The Long's Canyon Watchable Wildlife Area offers viewing blinds in a wetlands area. Commonly seen in the park are great blue herons, Canada geese, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, hummingbirds, mule deer, cottontail rabbits, and ground squirrels. An attractive 62-unit campground has some electric hookups, a dump station, and coin-operated showers; a basic campground with 10 sites on the south shore opened in 2008. Nightly camping fees are $14 to $18. Reservations are available for an extra charge of $8 through the state parks website or by calling tel. 800/678-2267. Day-use admission costs $6 per vehicle, which is also tacked onto camping fees. During the winter there's cross-country skiing, ice skating, and ice fishing.
Bicycling, Rollerblading & Skateboarding -- The Trinidad Skate Park covers 15,000 square feet and offers a terrific layout with the snake leading into the two bowls, offering long runs with plenty of speed and opportunity for tricks. Use of safety equipment (helmets, knee and elbow pads, wrist supports, and proper shoes) is required at all times, and users are responsible for the proper maintenance of their gear. Summer hours are daily 8am to 10pm, and admission is free. For additional information, contact the City of Trinidad (tel. 719/846-9843) or the chamber of commerce (tel. 719/846-9285). From I-25, take exit 13B onto Main Street east, turn right (south) onto Santa Fe Trail Drive, then left onto Jefferson Street. Take the second right (follow the community center sign) and continue straight to the park.
Golf -- The 9-hole Trinidad Golf Course, 1417 Nolan Dr. off the Santa Fe Trail adjacent to I-25 at exit 13A (tel. 719/846-4015; www.trinidadgc.com), is considered among the best 9-hole courses in the state, with fees of $16 to $18 for 9 holes and $21 to $23 for 18 holes.