A nine-acre playground on the Payette River offers all sorts of water fun: kayaking, river rafting, tubing, and surﬁng.
The lakes and frisky rivers of Idaho’s Long Valley have been an epicenter of playful kayaking for years. Cascade has now solidiﬁed that reputation with the opening of Kelly’s Whitewater Park, a surging nine-acre playground on the Payette River for all sorts of water fun: kayaking, river rafting, tubing, and surﬁng. “We hope to be one of the premier river parks in the country and plan on hosting competitions,” says Mark Pickard, who founded the park with his wife, Kristina.
There’s plenty to do out of the water, too. Spectators stroll a 2.5-mile path that weaves through the park and watch the action from a new bridge spanning the rapids a mile south of the Cascade Dam. Another bridge will be completed in 2012.
Sunbathers can lounge beneath one of the colorful sunshades dotting the grassy bank. An indoor amphitheater has front-row seats for kayaking competitions. And a small but slick gallery provides quick views into the area’s rugged history and varied inhabitants, from the Nez Perce Indians to the paddling enthusiasts. kwpid.com.
Photography courtesy of KWP
This article was first published in May 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.