Mountain & Trail News

    Snapping Turtle Nests at St. Vrain State Park

    FIRESTONE, Colo. – On May 28, a group of Boy Scouts witnessed a snapping turtle nesting event at St. Vrain State Park, that they promptly reported to park personnel. The nests were laid very close to the hiking trail around Mallard Pond. In order to protect the turtles, park personnel constructed cages to go over the nests. This event has provided us with an amazing opportunity for environmental education. St. Vrain’s staff and summer naturalist are planning a nest excavation following the hatching of the snapping turtles. Visitors will work alongside the park naturalist to examine the inside of the nests after hatching occurs.

    The park naturalist and visitors will count the number of egg shells, determine if there were any partially-developed or infertile eggs and try to walk away with a general understanding of how turtle nests work to incubate eggs. With the nests due to hatch between Aug. 14 and Aug. 27, we are keeping a close eye them.

    Updates are provided as necessary on the St. Vrain State Park webpage: Simply click on the “Exciting Reptile News” link to get updates. Since there’s no way to predict the exact moment or date of hatching, please check the website frequently for updates on nest hatching, excavation date and other important information. You may also call us at (303) 485-0186 with any questions or concerns.

    The park staff is very excited about this opportunity to learn more about one of the common reptile species inhabiting St. Vrain State Park and look forward to sharing this experience with you and your family!

    Colorado Parks and Wildlife get everyone outdoors! Attracting more than 12 million visitors per year, Colorado’s 42 State Parks are a vital cornerstone of Colorado’s economy and quality of life. Colorado State Parks encompass 224,447 land and water acres, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado State Parks is a leader in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, protecting the state’s favorite landscapes, teaching generations about nature and partnering with communities. Colorado State Parks also manage more than 4,300 campsites, and 63 cabins and yurts. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit

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