Paonia State Park is located in Gunnison county east of Paonia, Colorado. This park is in a canyon surrounding the Paonia reservoir on the north fork of the Gunnison river. Spruce campground is just north of the reservoir on the banks of the Muddy Creek. It is nicely forested with old growth trees. There is no electric, however there are restrooms and spacious sites with fire rings & picnic tables.
|View of the surrounding mountains from Spruce campground|
|Muddy Creek near our campsite|
|Enjoying a campfire at our campsite|
|The north end of the Paonia Reservoir |
|The Paonia Reservoir |
During our three night stay at Paonia State Park we drove to the mountain town of Marble about 11 miles north of our campsite. Marble is a mining area where many parts of our country get there supply of white marble. We were lucky enough to be there for the month long marble carving workshop that is held once a year in July. The workmanship and skill level to carve marble is truly an art form that is fascinating to see. We saw great pieces of artwork either completed or in the process of being created. Marble, CO is a great place to visit while in this area of Colorado for not only it's amazing marble background but also for the many outdoor activities centered in the scenic Rockies.
|Marble from the quarry ready to be shipped|
|The bell tower in Marble,CO|
|Marble and bronze carving|
|One of the instructors at the workshop working on very detailed carvings|
|The carvings are of all sizes with a good deal of content|
|High powered tools are required to sculpture white marble|
|Beaver Lake |
The mountain town of Paonia, CO is just west of the park. It is a wonderful place to visit with its many wineries, shops, and bed & breakfast providing a hospitality that is centered around this organic farming community. The areas residents are skilled in the arts, farming, craftsmanship and just down home friendliness that makes visitors feel welcomed. We enjoyed a day walking around town and visiting the local establishments in the area.
|Mural on a side of a building in downtown Paonia|
|Big B's orchids hand pick organic produce market just west of Paonia, CO|
|UP Coal train carrying a load of anthrisite from the mines north of Paonia in Somerset, CO|
|Local artist creation, great RV of the streamline variety|
|Elsewhere Studios for artist residency programs|
For my readers who do not camp the The Wisehart Spring Inn is a great bed and breakfast to stay while your in town. Art and Erin have done a wonder job building a castle like upstairs that will accommodate up to eight visitors. I meet Art in downtown Paonia at the Thai takeout stand where I had lunch. The folks in Paonia are friendly and engaging giving visitors a warm welcome while they are in town.
|The Wisehart Springs Inn|
|The view from the back of the Wisehart Spring Inn|
|The back yard at the Wisehart Springs Inn|