"More than a century ago, homesteader Abner Sprague built a dam across a stream to form the pond we now call Sprague Lake. While trout fishing here, he undoubtedly enjoyed the views of the Continental Divide, as do countless visitors now on this fully accessible trail.
For little ones, Sprague Lake’s first attraction is the resident ducklings paddling around their mothers. Father ducks are the ones with a showy green head atop a white collar, commonly seen during the spring nesting season. When the ducks dip their heads into the water, their long, specially adapted tongues strain food (insects, tiny bits of plants, seeds, and fish eggs) from the mud. Following the trail around the lake’s north shore, point out charred tree stumps in the adjacent forest, remnants of the fire of 1900. Today’s forest and undergrowth reveal the life-renewing quality that fires bring to the soil. The hearty ponderosa pine trees here survived thanks to their thick bark. Look for knots in a tree to show the bark’s thickness. Aspens are newcomers in a forest, the first trees to sprout from their already established roots after a fire has cleared an area."