Outdoor Recreational Activities

The Palmer Lake Regional Recreation Area features a spring-fed lake, playground, volleyball court, frisbee disc golf course, and ample opportunities for enjoying the outdoors. The lake itself commences the New Santa Fe Regional Trail and sits adjacent to the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.

A charming downtown area along County Highway 105 offers local restaurants and shops for those passing through to stop in and experience a bit of the local flavor.

Palmer Lake Regional Recreation Area

Map of the Palmer Lake Regional Recreation Area (PDF file: 54kb)

  • Frisbee disc golf course (19 hole)
  • Horseshoe pits
  • Sand volleyball court and net
  • Childrens’ playground
  • Picnicking – There are many picnic areas with tables surrounding Palmer Lake. Additionally, there is a large picnic pavilion located that can be reserved through the Town of Palmer Lake. Please visit www.townofpalmerlake.com for more information or call 719-481-2953.

Hiking, Running, Biking, Cross Country Skiing and Horseback Riding on Several Trails in and Near Palmer Lake

  • New Santa Fe Regional Trail – The 16-mile New Santa Fe Regional Trail begins in Palmer Lake and continues south through grassy valleys and tall pinon trees to Colorado Springs. The flat, smooth (and mostly unpaved) dirt trail is great for hikers and riders of most skill levels, as well as cross country skiers in the winter. Visitors can also circumnavigate the easy .8-mile trail loop around the lake itself.
  • Greenland Open Space Trail – The Greenland Open Space trail is northeast of town and is appropriate for the same activities. Trailhead and parking is on County Line Road.
  • Spruce Mountain Open Space Trail System – The Greenland Open Space trail is just 4 miles north of town in Douglas Country. The trailhead and parking is on Spruce Mountain Road.
  • Glen Park Trail
  • Creekside Trail
  • Palmer Lake Reservoir Trail

Glen Park

  • Tennis Courts (also great for playing pickle ball)
  • Children’s Playground
  • Park side trail
  • Creekside trail
  • Picnicking

Boating & Boat Rentals

Non-motorized boats such as kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boats are permitted to float on Palmer Lake. All boats must be hand-launched.

Kayaks and paddleboards are available locally for rent:

  • Finders Keepers
  • Charitos House 2


  • Fishing in Palmer Lake – Fishing is permitted in Palmer Lake, with a valid Colorado Fishing License. Most anglers either fish from the dock or around the shore. The lake is best known for catching rainbow trout, but there are also opportunities for pike, catfish, and perch in Palmer Lake. In the winter, ice fishing is possible.
  • Fishing on the Palmer Lake Reservoirs


  • Due to heavy vegetation, swimming in Palmer Lake is not recommended.
  • Swimming or even wading in the reservoirs is not allowed.


Palmer Lake lies on the Arkansas Divide, making it home or a migratory resting point to many migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Birders can spot ducks, cranes, geese, hummingbirds, and other rarer species.