Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Elevation: 6874 - 6890 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Dutch Charlie Marina
Attractions: Paved path, fishing access
The Fish Tale trail is located in the Dutch Charlie area of Ridgway State Park about 6 miles north of the town or Ridgway, Colorado. The trail provides wheelchair accessibility for fishing along the shores of Mears Bay. Ridgway State Park has wheelchair accessible campsites, picnic areas and fly fishing access along the Uncompahgre River in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk area of the park.
The trail begins near the restrooms that are just to the west of the boat launch.
The main fish to catch in Ridgway Reservoir are rainbow trout, brown trout and kokanee salmon. Yellow perch and smallmouth bass were introduced illegally into the reservoir. In order to help rid the reservoir of these invasive species here is no catch limit set for the perch and bass. A good spot to catch the perch is past the swim beach where the creek runs into Mears Bay.
The Fish Tale trail is relatively flat with lampposts that light the way at night.
There is one bench along the side of the trail. If you are looking for a picnic spot there are some tables close by on the Secret Spot trail besides those at the picnic area just past the swim beach.
The paved path ends at the fishing gazebo that juts out over the water from the shoreline.
There are about 4 different stations here that a wheelchair can take advantage of as well as several notches that are formed into the railing. The platform seems to have been well engineered for its purpose especially when you consider how many years that it has been here.
Once upon a time there was a store at the marina that was open seasonally but alas it hasn't been around for quite some time. The store was similar to the one at the Lake Fork Marina on Blue Mesa Reservoir that gets floated out and attached to the boat dock so maybe one of these days they will bring it back and give business another try. Boaters will love the nice wide boat ramp with its grooved pavement. You can actually drive down it forwards and then make a u-turn near the bottom so that you don't have to back up so far.
Back up at the head of the trail, out in front of the restrooms, you will find a fish cleaning station. The station makes it nice for keeping the mess out of your campsite or your kitchen sink. Now you can take your catch back to the campground and have a fish fry for dinner. The Fish Tale trail is a nice addition to all of the other amenities at Ridgway State Park. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.