Park Update Summer/Fall 2022:
The Eastside Drive Bridge replacement project will commence on September 12, 2022. This means a FULL CLOSURE on this stretch of Eastside Drive from Warren Wagon Road to the North Beach access parking lot through January 16, 2023.
The North Beach parking area can be accessed via East Side Drive (until the snow flies). Warren Wagon Road will not be impacted with closures.
Construction Update: Construction on State Highway 55 near Smiths Ferry has reached a major milestone as work pauses for the winter season. Road paving and major slope excavation are now complete with two lanes open for travel.
For more information about the projects, click the documents below:
Ponderosa Pine Restoration Project (one page)
Ponderosa Pine Restoration Project (full document)
Most of the $1.3 million in work will start in September 2020 and run through the winter, when visitor activity slows and weather conditions favor construction and rehabilitation work on the MeadowMarsh Forest.
The construction work includes utility upgrades to the Aspen loop in the Peninsula Campground, paving of the road to Osprey Point, and repair of the Peninsula Boat Ramp.
Here is a summary of upcoming and completed work:
- Beginning October 2022: Working with SITPA (Southern Idaho Timber Protection Area), the Park has developed a plan to reintroduce fire gradually and systematically in a prescribed way to small units (5 – 20 acres at a time) on the 90-acre MeadowMarsh Ponderosa Pine restoration area over the next 3 – 5 years.
This fall (2022), the Park plans to burn the remaining piles from the mechanical thinning/piling portion of the restoration project and broadcast burn 2 units, encompassing seven acres on the north and south ends of the project area.
- Pine restoration project work will continue in the fall with removing pockets of 8” and under trees where they are too dense. Piling work will also continue with special attention paid to completely consuming the large woody remnants that did not completely burn in the initial lighting. Piles will be burned when conditions permit.
- Work has wrapped up on the Aspen loop utility upgrades and will now focus on the Blackberry loop this fall 2022. Work is slated to begin on the Wednesday after Labor Day 2022 and continue until the weather forces shutdown.
- Camping will be closed in the Blackberry loop starting Wednesday September 7,2022. Aspen and Chokecherry loops will be open and available for camping after Labor Day, but construction crews will be working in the Blackberry loop so consider that before planning a stay.
- The Aspen loop’s electrical and water service will be improved with a $730,000 project, starting after Labor Day and set for completion in November.
Camping will continue in the Blackberry and Chokecherry loops, but power and water may be temporarily interrupted by the installation of new electrical transformers and water lines for the campground.
- The road to the Osprey Point Overlook will be paved as part of a $290,000 project that will include three parking areas. The 1.3-mile project begins after Labor Day and will end in late October; the road will be closed throughout the work.
- The $200,000 Peninsula Boat Ramp Repair will give boaters a better, safer access to Payette Lake and includes two new docks and Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to improve mobility for all users. The work will start in October and is expected to conclude by the end of November. The ramp will remain closed throughout the work.
- The demolition of the dilapidated Kokanee Cove dining hall, a remnant of an old church camp that’s now part of the park, this summer was a first step in the development of a future event site. The $25,000 project eliminated a hazard and created an unobstructed view of Payette Lake. Other improvements will come in subsequent years.
The MeadowMarsh II project will improve the health of 90 acres of forest while decreasing the risk of a catastrophic fire. A combination of targeted tree thinning, prescribed burning and other techniques will restore the historical balance to the forest, which in a natural state should be dominated by Ponderosa pines. The sale of harvested trees is anticipated to raise $88,000, which will fund the restoration work.
Today, largely because of fire suppression, the forest is overgrown with Grand firs and other species vulnerable to severe and potentially uncontrollable fire. Under normal conditions, the Ponderosas are adapted to withstand periodic, low-intensity fires, which clear space and improve forest health. The project will return the forest to a more natural and sustainable state.
Address: 1920 N Davis Ave
McCall, ID 83638
Phone: (208) 634-2164
Hours of Operation: Day-use locations within state parks are open from 7 am to 10 pm, per Idaho state code 26.01.20 (5). Day-use hours may change based on park manager discretion.