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Lake Cascade State Park Grand opening of the new Visitor Center!

On May 21, 2019 the doors to Lake Cascade State Park's brand new Visitor Center opened to the public. More than 100 people turned out to tour the new Center.

The new Lake Cascade State Park Visitor Center

The project was a long time coming and boasts many new amenities that guests can enjoy for decades to come! The Visitor Center features the first eBird Trail Tracker interactive kiosk in Idaho, Experience Idaho Loaner Backpacks, new wayfinding displays, a display on the history of the site including the donation of the property, along with an interpretive store. The ribbon cutting was an exciting and monumental moment for everyone who has been involved with the project.

Ribbon cutting

Lake Cascade State Park is one of Idaho’s most popular state parks, with over 600,000 visitors in 2017. The park features twelve campgrounds, six boat launches, group yurts, twenty-six entrances, and has paddleboard and kayak rentals. Cascade Lake is over is 21 miles in length with 86 miles of shoreline. It has a surface area of 47 square miles, and is the fourth largest lake or reservoir in the state. With all these features and geography to navigate, the new Visitor Center features a large wayfinding exhibit to help introduce visitors to the many attractions and features of the park. Friendly park staff are available at the desk to answer questions.

Group photo at nearby Ponderosa Point

The donation of the site for the Visitor Center along the Payette River was made possible by a generous donation by Mark and Kristina Pickard. An interpretive exhibit in the Center tells the story of the history of the site.

So what exactly is an eBird Kiosk?

The eBird Trail Tracker Kiosk is an innovative way to track birds in the park. With a vast network across the nation, guests can input birds they've spotted at Lake Cascade State Park and participate in citizen science! Track birds by species, time period, or location and follow them as they migrate around the world. The Bioblitz held on May 11th at the park recorded seventy-two species of birds, those sightings are all listed in the kiosk along with other birds sighted in the area.

New eBird Trail Tracker Kiosk

Experience Idaho Loaner Backpacks

The Experience Idaho Loaner Backpacks are a new addition to many Idaho state parks. The backpacks are designed to help children explore the natural world while at Idaho state parks. Each bag is filled with a variety of equipment items to facilitate discovery--like binoculars, plant/animal identification guides, and bug viewers to help engage children in exploring nature. And the best part: they're absolutely free to use! The Experience Idaho Loaner Backpack Program is the legacy of Governor Dirk Kempthorne, encouraging Idahoans to experience the wonders of nature. The program was made possible by very generous donations to the Friends of Idaho State Parks. Special thanks to Gootium for donating the program backpacks. To check-out a backpack, visit with park staff inside the Visitor Center.

Experience Idaho Loaner Backpack stand--educational, fun, and free!
"The visitor center is 2,400 square feet and the new maintenance shop is 1,840 square feet. It contains restrooms, a meeting room, retail sales area, educational information on the surrounding area, and information on all recreation opportunities within Lake Cascade State Park and other state parks," says Senior Architect/Engineering Project Manager, Melanie Schuster.

The Visitor Center is located on Kelly’s Parkway on the east side of highway 55 as you enter Cascade from the south just past Harpo’s. Come check it out!

One of the many fantastic new interpretive signs at Lake Cascade

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