EAGLE COUNTY - The valley has plenty of family-friendly places to park your checkered blanket.
Setting: Picnickers can sit by Nottingham Lake and take in views of Beaver Creek mountain. The 48-acre park features a playground, volleyball court and new fishing pier.
Picnic gear: Several picnic tables and a handful of charcoal grills (BYO charcoal) are available near the playground and volleyball courts. The playground area also has a long, covered picnic table.
Alcohol: No. Avon recently changed its rules for drinking in the park to comply with state law. In the past, families with permits could bring 3.2-percent beer.
Reservations: Possible. Picnickers can reserve the pumphouse deck on the lake and the covered picnic table by the playground. Reservations cost $25. Consider making reservations two weeks in advance but reservations can be made up to a day in advance. Call 970-748-4060.
Little Beach Park
Setting: Tucked away on Cemetery road, the park stands between Minturn cliffs and the Eagle River. The town added new playground equipment in 2005.
Picnic gear: A handful of picnic tables and a few charcoal grills. Bring your own charcoal.
Alcohol: Families can bring 3.2-percent beer.
Reservations: Possible. Groups can reserve the park for events. A full day costs $200 for a Minturn resident, $400 for a nonresident and $100 for nonprofits. There are no hard rules on how far in advance people should reserve the park. Call 970-827-5645.
Setting: A short walk from Vail, the park stands adjacent to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Most families prefer to picnic below the softball fields. Picnickers can bring their own horseshoes to the horseshoe pit.
Picnic gear: The park has a pavilion with covered picnic tables. There is a charcoal grill (BYO charcoal).
Location: East Vail
Setting: This neighborhood park has a pond, playground and large field where dogs can run without a leash.
Picnic gear: The park has a pavilion with picnic tables and a charcoal grill (BYO charcoal).
Location: north of Vail
Setting: After bumping up a dirt road, picnickers find Piney Lake surrounded by mountains. Better days for a picnic over Labor Day weekend would be Saturday or Monday, as a wedding is taking place Sunday.
Picnic gear: Two tables are reserved for picnickers.
Alcohol: No outside alcohol. The restaurant serves wine and beer.
Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.