We recently took the chance to check out Heyburn State Park in Idaho which is only 1 hour from our home in Spokane Valley, WA. We've done some exploring around that area but never taken the time to camp out there. After this weekend, I'm sure glad we finally took the time. Heyburn State Park is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest and it is well worth a visit. Here are some of the things we loved about it, shared in the hope of inspiring you to get your kids out in beautiful Idaho!
The sites themselves were well spaced, clean and each had a level spot for your tent, chairs, a picnic table and fire pit. There were water spigots scattered around in most areas to make for easy access to potable water. We were camped in the loop that was the farthest up the hill, the furthest from the lake. Still, it only took moments to walk down to the waterfront where our kids enjoyed throwing rocks in the water, walking out on the docks, and trying to identify waterfowl from sight and sound. Oh, and all those trees make for great hammock hanging!
You can get on the trail right out of Hawley's Landing campground but we chose to shave off two miles each way by driving the bikes to the parking area in Chatcolet. From there we headed out on the path toward an intimidating looking bridge. Because the path is along a former train route it is mostly flat. This bridge is the only part that deviated from the norm. It is intimidating to approach but it was constructed with an ingenious method of rises and rests that make it managable. If you find it to be too steep to ride, you can always dismount and walk to the top. Other than that it is smooth sailing along the banks of the beautiful Lake CDA. We rode the approximately 7 miles to Harrison on a gorgeous, sunny early spring day. The promis of an ice cream stop in Harrison spurred us on when we felt tired (mostly that just refers to me, as my boys never seem to tire out!).
| || |
After a delightful stop for ice cream in a waterfront shop in Harrison, we mounted up and rode back to camp. On the way back we rode all the way back to camp in order to stop and check out an interpretive boardwalk marsh trail. This is located where the creek enters the lake just to the west of the campground. There is a blind for viewing waterfowl and the boardwalk goes out further with some interpretive signs along the way.