Paonia State Park is a state park of the U.S. state of Colorado, located in Garfield County about 12 miles (19km) east of Rifle and 6 miles (9.7km) north of Estes Park. The park was established on June 5, 2020 and currently has no facilities. It will have camping sites with water and electric hookups as well as trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are plans to add cabins and an equestrian center that will be compatible with the campground and trails.
The park opened to the public on June 5, 2020. Facilities consist of nothing more than what can be found at any other undeveloped state park, with trailheads, parking areas and campsites. No restroom or shower facilities are available.
The land for Paonia State Park had previously been owned by Patricia “Pattie” Dryden, who sold it to the state in 1996. Pattie’s son Matthew Dryden then leased pasture from the state beginning in 2006, but later bought back most of the land, keeping only small parcels around the buildings where he continues to lease pasture.
In 2019, after Matthew’s death, his wife Heather announced they were giving away almost all their remaining family lands, including the parcel containing Paonia State Park, to the state so that it could be turned into a public park. Matt’s sister Amy also donated some of her own property to the cause. On April 23, 2020, Governor Jared Polis formally accepted the gift, establishing Paonia State Park.