Just upriver from Blue Mesa Reservoir lies a wonderland of trees, birds, clean flowing water and shade. Stop at Riverway, Neversink, or Cooper’s Ranch picnic areas to stroll among this dense forest of old growth cottonwood. An oasis in the sea of sage that surrounds the Gunnison Basin, the river corridor sings with nesting birds and thrums with the activity of working beavers. Watch for great blue herons who nest in colonies near the tops of the trees. River otters and mink might just slink or slide by. Mallards and mergansers cruise the riffles. Insect hatches excite trout into leaping into the air tocapture the emergers. Take a river side stroll, get your feet a little wet, let the kids explore – enjoy your national recreation area.