Best Seat in the House: A Picnic on Open Space

The summer picnic is a time-honored way of bringing family and friends together with delicious food and the great outdoors. In the 17th century, the French term “pique un niche” meant “pick a place.” It was an isolated spot (a nook) where family or friends could enjoy a jolly meal together away from distractions and demands.

Boulder County Parks & Open Space has 15 parks that include picnic sites. Most offer picnic tables and restrooms at the trailhead.

Some parks also have group picnic sites that you can reserve for a small fee. The shelters are available on a first come, first serve basis if there is no secured reservation. Shelters are perfect for family reunions and special occasions for large groups. Visit the picnic and park shelters webpage to view details about shelter sizes, availability, and other details about group use.

If you are planning a small family outing or romantic picnic for two, check out a few of Boulder County’s lesser known picnic nooks—some with easy access, some secluded, and all waiting for your summer adventures!

A Few Locations to Explore

  • Ethel Harold Trailhead at Walker Ranch: Fantastic views, a quiet picnic area, and perfectly-sized boulders for young rock scramblers
  • Bald Mountain Scenic Area: Picnic tables near parking lot, short hike to panoramic views of eastern plains and Continental Divide, and a bench at the summit!
  • Caribou Ranch: Three miles (round trip) to the historical Blue Bird Mine Complex where there is a creek-side bench
  • Pella Crossing: Easy hiking or riding, fishing and birding hotspot with two picnic tables by the water on western side of park