Winter Activities in Logan County

A Guide to Sterling’s Outdoor Winter Activities

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that’s both fun and picturesque, Sterling offers a variety of activities for the winter adventurer! Try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, bird watching, winter camping, or stargazing at one of our beautiful outdoor destinations.

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Snowshoeing and Cross-country Skiing

North Sterling State Park’s six-mile trail system offers visitors a chance to explore the area and take in the stunning winter views. With the recent snowfall, the trails are in perfect condition! Here is a link to the trail map

There are also 130 acres of municipal park space in Sterling, with maintained paths and easy, beginner cross-country skiing opportunities, close to downtown. Head to Columbine Park, Pioneer Park, or Overland Trail Recreation Area, and then warm up with hot coffee or hot chocolate at the Old Library Mercantile, Simkins Parlour, or Hot Java Espresso

Birdwatching

If you’re a birdwatcher, you’ll be pleased to know that North Sterling State Park is an excellent spot for bald eagle viewing in January and February. The eagles typically hang out on the ice, so be sure to bring your binoculars! Download a complete Bird Species List or pick one up ​at the Visitor Center. You can also head to the Prewitt State Wildlife Area and the Jumbo State Wildlife Area, which both offer excellent bird-watching opportunities.

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Ice Fishing

Ice fishing for crappie and walleye at North Sterling State Park is a great way to spend a cold winter day with friends and family! But safety should always be the number one priority. Review the safety precautions before going out onto a frozen lake, pond or river, to reduce the risk of falling through the ice. The reservoir is typically iced over until about the middle or end of February and is open to boating around the first of March or so, which means absolutely no ice by the first of March. Park Passes are required year-round. You can also head to the Prewitt State Wildlife Area and the Jumbo State Wildlife Area, which both have beautiful reservoirs.

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Winter Camping

Who says there’s no camping in February? Not Sterling! North Sterling State Park offers winter camping in Elks Campground, open year-round, located north of the dam with 50 electric sites and a trailer dump station. Vault restrooms are available year-round throughout the park. Camping reservations are required, which can be made the day you plan to arrive at the park or up to six months in advance. Campsite reservations may be made by calling 1-800-244-5613​ or by reserving online. Please see the North Sterling camping​ page for more details, or view campsite pictures on its Facebook Page

Stargazing

Sit by the campfire gazing at the bright stars above while the coyotes sing their nightly song in the distance! North Sterling State Park is categorized as Class 3 on the Bortle Scale (which is a way of measuring the quality [brightness] of the night sky for a particular location) meaning the sky is crowded with stars, extending to the horizon in all directions. In the absence of haze, the Milky Way can be seen. Clouds appear is black silhouettes against the sky, and the stars look large and close. Please check the fire restrictions before you build a fire.

 

 

Birding in Logan County

Did you know the Mountain Plover is a bird you can find on the flat, open plains of northeastern Colorado?

Despite its name, the sand-colored Mountain Plover is a species of open plains in the western United States. One of the Mountain Plover's more accurate nicknames is “Prairie Ghost,” inspired by this bird's habit of freezing in place when threatened, becoming nearly invisible among its dry, grassy surroundings.

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Cool Facts

  • Mountain Plover pairs usually make 2 simultaneous nests. The female lays half her eggs in each nest, and then the female incubates one while the male incubates the other.

  • American naturalist John Kirk Townsend was the first to bring Mountain Plovers to the notice of science, in 1834, when he found one along the Sweetwater River of Wyoming. His colleague John James Audubon gave the bird its first name, the Rocky Mountain Plover, even though the species is a bird not of mountains but of prairie.

  • Farmers and hunters sometimes refer to the Mountain Plover as the “prairie ghost,” on account of its ability to (seemingly) vanish into thin air—in fact, the bird usually just faces away from an observer and sits down, its upperparts indistinguishable from the pale tan color of the grassland around it.

  • The oldest recorded Mountain Plover was at least 10 years old when it was resighted in Montana in the wild and identified by its band.

Find This Bird

The first thing to do when looking for a Mountain Plover is to carry along or borrow a spotting scope. These small shorebirds live in wide-open spaces and can look very much like a clump of sod. In summer, look for them on preserved patches of shortgrass prairie such as the Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado. They often are attracted to prairie dog towns. In winter, look for them on plowed, newly planted, or fallow agricultural fields, as well as rangeland with short grass.

Learn more about birding in Logan County and northeast Colorado here.

Gifts from Sterling

Shop for Sterling-made Gifts

We've rounded up our best list of items crafted exclusively in Sterling, Colorado, to take home or to share with loved ones.

colorado popcorn

Colorado Popcorn Company – A gourmet popcorn manufacturer, wholesaler and local retailer in Sterling.

Cualtzy Bakery & Treats - Traditional Mexican treats baked fresh daily + custom cakes and cupcakes.

High Plains Spice Company – Hand-mixed seasoning, tea and coffee blends, from everyday to gourmet.

Mike’s Meat Market – Beef sticks and summer sausage handmade from start to finish.

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Parts & Labor Brewing – Handcrafted ales (cans, growlers and swag available for gift giving).

Red’s Wine Boutique – Specializing in small-batch productions (labels feature rescue dogs).

rideau organics

Rideau Organics – Plant-based skincare for active lifestyles, inspired by Colorado’s beautiful and rugged landscape.

Sterling Creatives Art Co-Op and Gallery – Locally made art, from pottery and jewelry to slumped glass and stained glass.

Sweetly Vintage – A bit of old, a bit of new, and lots of handcrafted and upcycled furnishings.

wickedly good treats

Wickedly Good Treats – Custom-made cupcakes, cookies, macaroons and more.

 

Visit https://www.exploresterling.com/winter for more seasonal ideas.

 

This Holiday Season

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With the Historical Logan County Courthouse as the centerpiece in Sterling's quaint downtown area, you can amble among the lighted trees, street lamps, and Candyland-decorated storefronts depicting The City of Sweet Adventures! Get your Candy Card for incentives and prizes when you browse and shop at the many unique boutiques and specialty stores. Stop for a bite to eat at one of our fun eateries. Enjoy this magical season under the glow of the Christmas lights or in the quiet outdoors. Feel free to roam.

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Enjoy “Christmas on the Prairie” at the Overland Trail Museum throughout the month of December for twinkling lights, roasting chestnuts, festive entertainment, cookies, caroling, hot cider, cozy fires, and memories that last a lifetime. Click the link for details.

Voices will be raised on Sunday, December 11 at 4 pm when the Master Chorale presents the "30th Noel" Christmas Concert at the Dorothy Corsberg Theatre on the Northeastern Junior College campus.

All eyes will be on the stage at the Dorothy Corsberg Theatre for the Northeastern Dance Academy's "Nutcracker Remix," Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18. 

See and experience the extraordinary Parade of Trees at the Sterling Public Library on Thursday, December 22, 5-8 pm. The lights will be turned down to allow the beautifully decorated trees to shine! The evening features refreshments and live music.

Many of Sterling’s downtown merchants are open for extended hours during the month of December for your holiday shopping. Click the eNews link at www.logancountychamber.com for updated information.

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Shop for Sterling-made gifts:

Colorado Popcorn Company – A gourmet popcorn manufacturer, wholesaler, and local retailer in Sterling.

Cualtzy Bakery & Treats - Traditional Mexican treats baked fresh daily + custom cakes and cupcakes.

High Plains Spice Company – Hand-mixed seasoning, tea, and coffee blends, from everyday to gourmet.

Mike’s Meat Market – Beef sticks and summer sausage handmade from start to finish.

Parts & Labor Brewing – Handcrafted ales (cans, growlers, and swag available for gift giving).

Red’s Wine Boutique – Specializing in small-batch productions (labels feature rescue dogs).

Rideau Organics – Plant-based skincare for active lifestyles, inspired by Colorado’s beautiful and rugged landscape.

Sterling Creatives Art Co-Op and Gallery – Locally made art, from pottery and jewelry to slumped glass and stained glass.

Sweetly Vintage – A bit of old, a bit of new, and lots of handcrafted and upcycled furnishings.

Wickedly Good Treats – Custom-made cupcakes, cookies, macaroons, and more.

Visit https://www.exploresterling.com/winter for more seasonal ideas.

Come Home for the Holidays

courthouse front 2 2022 christmas

With the Historical Logan County Courthouse as the centerpiece in Sterling's quaint downtown area, you can amble among the lighted trees, street lamps, and Candyland-decorated storefronts depicting The City of Sweet Adventures! Get your Candy Card for incentives and prizes when you browse and shop at the many unique boutiques and specialty stores. Stop for a bite to eat at one of our fun eateries. Enjoy this magical season under the glow of the Christmas lights or in the quiet outdoors. Feel free to roam.

couple on cold walk as 170414726

Enjoy “Christmas on the Prairie” at the Overland Trail Museum throughout the month of December for twinkling lights, roasting chestnuts, festive entertainment, cookies, caroling, hot cider, cozy fires, and memories that last a lifetime. Click the link for details.

Voices will be raised on Sunday, December 11 at 4 pm when the Master Chorale presents the "30th Noel" Christmas Concert at the Dorothy Corsberg Theatre on the Northeastern Junior College campus.

All eyes will be on the stage at the Dorothy Corsberg Theatre for the Northeastern Dance Academy's "Nutcracker Remix," Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18. 

See and experience the extraordinary Parade of Trees at the Sterling Public Library on Thursday, December 22, 5-8 pm. The lights will be turned down to allow the beautifully decorated trees to shine! The evening features refreshments and live music.

Many of Sterling’s downtown merchants are open for extended hours during the month of December for your holiday shopping. Click the eNews link at www.logancountychamber.com for updated information.

colorado popcorn 3

Shop for Sterling-made gifts:

Colorado Popcorn Company – A gourmet popcorn manufacturer, wholesaler, and local retailer in Sterling.

Cualtzy Bakery & Treats - Traditional Mexican treats baked fresh daily + custom cakes and cupcakes.

High Plains Spice Company – Hand-mixed seasoning, tea, and coffee blends, from everyday to gourmet.

Mike’s Meat Market – Beef sticks and summer sausage handmade from start to finish.

Parts & Labor Brewing – Handcrafted ales (cans, growlers, and swag available for gift giving).

Red’s Wine Boutique – Specializing in small-batch productions (labels feature rescue dogs).

Rideau Organics – Plant-based skincare for active lifestyles, inspired by Colorado’s beautiful and rugged landscape.

Sterling Creatives Art Co-Op and Gallery – Locally made art, from pottery and jewelry to slumped glass and stained glass.

Sweetly Vintage – A bit of old, a bit of new, and lots of handcrafted and upcycled furnishings.

Wickedly Good Treats – Custom-made cupcakes, cookies, macaroons, and more.

 

Visit https://www.exploresterling.com/winter for more seasonal ideas.

 

 

Come Home for the Holidays

Believe it or not, the holiday season is here, and our calendar is filling up with some of the best Christmassy things to do this time of year. Don't forget to check back often as new activities get added.

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As you plan your trip to Sterling and Logan County:

Skip the Traffic Jams

Here you’ll discover a plethora of activities at every level of adventure. And to top it all off, you’ll rarely be caught in a traffic jam or stand in line. It’s what we like to call free-range tourism!

Ditch the Long Lines

Enjoy our culinary culture which includes down-home favorites at the local diners and exquisite cuisine in upscale restaurants. A gigantic scoop of hard ice cream is a favorite at the charming Simkins Parlour and the Hot Spot Smokehouse has some of the best barbecue around. Stop at the Parts & Labor Brewing Company for a selection from their diverse menu and a brew made with locally grown wheat.

Roam Freely and Relax

Accommodations in Sterling and Logan County range from a quaint boutique motel to modern hotels in beautiful settings. Travelers who prefer recreational vehicles or tent camping will feel right at home at our campsite facilities.

This Week in Logan County

In Honor of All Veterans

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Thank you for your time, bravery, and sacrifice for this country.

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We are forever grateful for what our veteran's have done to maintain America's freedom.

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Happy Veterans Day!

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11 Ways to Help Veterans, Soldiers and Their Families. (Read more here.)

  • Donate an old cell phone
  • Send a care package or letter
  • Help build homes for injured vets
  • Drive a veteran to an appointment
  • "Stand Down" to help homeless vets rebuild their lives
  • Help a veteran heal with an animal companion
  • Help service members and their families succeed in the civilian workplace
  • Donate airline miles
  • Help prison inmates raise service dogs for veterans
  • Help a service member call home
  • Help a veteran get back to civilian life.

Treat a veteran to a meal at one of our local favorite eateries.

 

 

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