Year-Round Activities in Brush, Colorado for All Ages


From summertime rodeos to wintertime ice fishing, Brush offers seasonal attractions and activities that make it an appealing Colorado destination all year long.

This article delves into everything Brush has in store for you. It covers the city’s scenic landscapes, historical significance, family-friendly offerings, outdoor adventures, and more.


  • Brush hosts exciting seasonal events like summer rodeos, fall harvest festivals, and holiday light displays.
  • Nearby state parks and nature areas provide hiking, fishing, hunting, and scenic drives along the South Platte River.
  • Families enjoy attractions like vintage train rides, a museum with dinosaur fossils, lakeside beaches, and exploration of the town’s Old West roots.
  • Main Street offers locally-owned shops, restaurants serving Colorado cuisine, and cozy inns.

Seasonal Attractions and Activities

Brush sees all four seasons, each bringing its unique charm. Hot and sunny, summers in this place are perfect for outdoor festivals, water recreation at local lakes, and hiking. Autumns in Brush bring vibrant foliage, harvest celebrations, and crisp air. Wintertime offers ice fishing and cross-country skiing opportunities with snow-covered vistas. Spring brings comfortable temperatures and allows for hikes where you can see stunning wildflowers and newborn animals along the trail.

Summer Fun

Summertime finds Brush at its liveliest. Annual highlights include Fourth of July festivities including a parade, rodeo, carnival rides, and fireworks over the South Platte River. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, visitors can also encourage riders at weekly PRCA rodeos.

Brush’s lakes are excellent for boating and paddleboarding, and Jackson Lake State Park and Riverside Reservoir State Park have beaches where people can lounge and swim. Riverside State Park also has an aquatics center with waterslides and a lazy river.

Hikers and mountain bikers delight in the trails winding through the Pawnee National Grassland just north of Brush and thirty-five miles east of Fort Collins. Wildflowers and wildlife sightings reward those exploring the prairie terrain and sandstone formations. Favorite routes include the Valley Trail and the shorter Prairie Falcon Trail.

Fall Festivities

Autumn allows visitors to taste Brush’s agricultural bounty. The Brush Oktoberfest in mid-September offers German food, craft beer, live music, and contests from Stein holding to wiener dog races. The city also hosts a Fall Harvest Car Show displaying hundreds of classic vehicles.

October brings pleasant weather for hiking or picking pumpkins at local farms. View brilliant yellow cottonwoods along the South Platte River or take the hour-long drive to Pawnee Buttes for iconic grassland vistas bathed in autumn gold.

As Halloween approaches, families enjoy The Terrorium Haunted House and discover ghosts on the Brush Historical Society’s lantern-lit cemetery tours. November caps fall festivities with the annual Veterans Day parade.

Winter Wonderland

When snow blankets the prairie grasses, the area offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Grouse, rabbit, and other small game can be hunted across the open terrain. Ice fishing at Jumbo Reservoir near Brush is also a popular winter activity.

The holiday season sees Main Street lit up for the Festival of Lights celebration from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, concerts, and visits with Santa get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Outdoor Adventure and Scenic Drives

Brush’s proximity to expansive state parks and nature preserves gives visitors ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hiking, fishing, boating, and hunting can all be enjoyed within a short drive from downtown. Scenic byways winding through the grasslands reveal striking vistas and wildlife sightings around each bend.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Hikers delight in Brush’s natural areas filled with wildflowers, roaming antelope, and rippling prairie grasses. The Valley Trail in the Pawnee National Grassland offers a moderate 3.6-mile loop with panoramic views. The 1.5-mile Prairie Falcon Trail intersects this loop and is a great option for those seeking a shorter ramble.

Mountain biking trails also twist through the Pawnee Grassland and neighboring state wildlife areas. Cyclists can choose routes from a few gentle miles to marathon distances over hillier terrain. Fat tire bikes work well for winter riding after snowfalls.

Rivers and Reservoirs

Anglers cast their lines for walleye, smallmouth bass, catfish, and trout in the waters around Brush. The South Platte River offers access points both upstream and downstream of town. Jackson Lake and Jumbo Reservoir give visitors even more fishing opportunities.

Boaters and water sports lovers have additional options at Riverside and Jackson Lake state parks. Both lakes allow motorized watercraft like power boats, jet skis, and sailboats. Riverside Reservoir’s swim beach and floating playground also provide summer fun.

Scenic Drives

Visitors with vehicles can embark on stunning scenic drives right from Brush’s doorstep. Byways meandering through the Pawnee National Grassland allow you to observe prairie fauna from the comfort of your car.

The Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway makes a 36-mile loop from Brush past signature landmarks like the Pawnee Buttes. This byway connects former frontier outposts. Look for pronghorn antelope and coyotes roaming the sagebrush landscape as you bask in the views of distant mountain ranges.

Family-Friendly Offerings

Brush entices families with interactive museums, vintage train rides through picturesque valleys, and lakeside beaches. Kids can discover dinosaur fossils, explore homesteading history, or spend summer days splashing in the waters of Riverside Reservoir.

Museums and Exhibits

At the Brush Museum, visitors can expand their education by glimpsing into pioneer life in Eastern Colorado during the late 1800s. Historic homestead buildings were transported and reconstructed to walk through on-site. Kids can check out the one-room school house, doctor’s office, blacksmith shop, and more.

The museum also displays fossils of dinosaurs that once roamed the region. Don’t miss the giant Apatosaurus skeleton and its enormous skull! Children can participate in fossil digs to uncover ancient bones themselves.

At Brush’s Municipal Airport, the Glenn Miller Museum commemorates the famous jazz musician from Iowa who spent his high school years in Brush. Interactive exhibits let young musicians try their hand at the trombone and other big band instruments.

Family Attractions

No visit to Brush is complete without a ride on the Prairie Express, a vintage train running between Brush and Akron, Iowa. The two-hour journey follows the South Platte River through picturesque valleys and farmland. Kids will love exploring the 1885 caboose or 1920s passenger cars.

Riverside and Jackson Lake State Parks offer family fun with shaded picnic areas, hiking trails for all abilities, and lakeside beaches. Visitors can rent boats, take guided horseback rides, or let the kids run around playgrounds. Riverside Reservoir’s swim beach provides hours of splashing fun on hot summer days.

Throughout the year, the downtown Brush community also hosts fun events like summer concerts, holiday carriage rides, and festivals with live music and carnival rides. The city truly rolls out the red carpet for families.

Historical Significance and Landmarks

For history lovers, Brush provides opportunities to discover the Old West. Several local landmarks speak to the city’s frontier roots and the hardy pioneers who settled in this location in Colorado.

Brush’s Early Days

The land where Brush now stands was once traversed by Native American tribes and early Spanish explorers. Anglo settlers began arriving in the 1860s, braving the wild prairie to raise cattle and farm. The town of Brush was founded in 1884.

One of its earliest homesteads was established by George and Elizabeth Eaton in 1882. Their original dugout and several other historical buildings are preserved as the Eaton House Historical Site. Visitors can tour the sandstone cave dwelling and adjoining wood-frame home to appreciate frontier living conditions.

Brush was officially incorporated as a city in 1903. It became an important supply point for area cattle ranches. The coming of the railroad in 1907 connected Brush to major markets, allowing the agriculture and livestock industries to thrive.

Western Heritage

Today, Brush still celebrates its Old West roots with rodeos, guest ranches, and the annual Settlers’ Day festival. The event features chuckwagon cook-offs, cowboy-mounted shootings, parade floats, and more.

For a taste of ranching life, visitors can stay in historical homesteads at the Pawnee Lodge Guest Ranch or take horseback rides at the Overland Trail Guest Ranch.

By exploring local landmarks and events, Brush visitors gain insight into the Wild West era that shaped this rural Colorado community. Residents are proud of their heritage and eager to share their stories with guests.

Accommodations and Dining

Brush’s accommodations and dining options reflect a small-town hospitality vibe. From cozy BandBs on Oak Street to family-run cafes dishing up stick-to-your-ribs fare, Brush offers visitors true, local flavor.


The Brush Chamber of Commerce provides listings for hotels and inns suitable for various tastes and budgets. Right off Main Street, the historic Hotel Eaton and the Quality Inn provide clean, comfortable rooms for less than $100 per night. Several Bed and Breakfast establishments also grace Brush’s neighborhoods for those seeking a homier atmosphere.

Ranch resorts near Brush embrace the area’s Western spirit with horseback riding, chuckwagon dinners, and cabin rentals. The Pawnee Lodge Guest Ranch and Overland Trail Guest Ranch both offer an authentic dude ranch experience. You can also stay overnight in a pioneer wagon at the Riverside Resort.

Local Dining

Brush has no shortage of beloved eateries where locals gather to dine and chat. Stop by the Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center on weekdays to enjoy made-from-scratch specials alongside Brush residents. Cafe Lotus serves Asian fusion dishes in a historic downtown building.

For a taste of traditional Colorado cuisine, visitors can’t go wrong at the Grammy’s Kitchen restaurant. Located in a former church, it serves hearty comfort fare like pot roast, chicken fried steak, or Rocky Mountain oysters. Be sure to save room for their mile-high meringue pies!

Brush also hosts various food festivals throughout the year. From German fare at Oktoberfest to sizzling BBQ at Settlers’ Days, the city celebrates its agricultural roots through cuisine.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended Colorado vacation, Brush has something for everybody.


Does Brush have summer camps for kids?

Riverside and Jackson Lake state parks offer summer camps covering outdoor skills, fishing, and much more.

How far is Brush from Denver and how can I get there?

Brush rests about 90 minutes northeast of Denver by car. Visitors can utilize Denver International Airport or Colorado Springs Airport. Shuttle services and rental cars are available for reaching Brush. The Amtrak California Zephyr route also stops daily in Fort Morgan, just 22 miles west of Brush. Individuals can arrange pickup from the station.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.