Local news. Locally owned.
We put readers first.

Idaho’s state parks saw more visitors than ever before; improvements planned

Idaho's Biggest Toy Drive

By Natasha Williams / Idaho News 6

Idaho’s State Parks are seeing a record-breaking year for visitation, according to the department that oversees the open spaces.

“Idaho’s 30 State Parks are experiencing a record-breaking year for visitation, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding will greatly ease the burden, said Pete Black, chairman of the Idaho Parks and Recreation Board.

Idaho Parks and Rec received nearly $1.3 million in CARES Act funding to help cover the impact from all of those visitors. Parks and Rec says the money will go toward repairing and improving parking areas at four parks:

  • Thousand Springs (Box Canyon)
  • Priest Lake (Lionhead)
  • Farragut (Eagle Cove Boat Launch)
  • Bear Lake (East Beach).

“During the pandemic, people have rediscovered the outdoors as a way to safely cope with this crisis, bringing people out to play and camp in record numbers,” Black said. “That’s wonderful but is also a strain on the parks. We so appreciate the support from Gov. Brad Little and the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC).”

- Story continues below -
116 & West
Regence

[New trail could add to hiking, biking options at Lucky Peak]

Parks and Rec says some of the remaining CARES funding will cover increased costs associated with operating during the outbreak, including processing thousands of canceled reservations. In the spring, the department allowed the public to cancel reservations for COVID-related reasons, waiving the standard $10 processing fee, which the department absorbed.

The last bit of CARES funding will purchase additional cleaning equipment to keep heavily used areas in parks disinfected in the most effective and economical manner, Parks and Rec said.

As of October 1, Parks and Rec says visitation at Idaho State Parks set an annual record in 2020, despite the year having more than two months to go and the 60-day closure of camping due to COVID-19 concerns. More than 6.5 million visitors (campers and day users) have enjoyed the parks this year, surpassing the prior yearly visitation record by about 100,000 guests.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

New type of bike lane could come to Downtown Boise

A new-to-Boise type of bike lane is planned for 11th Street in Downtown Boise. The Capital City Development Corporation and Ada County Highway District...

Boise Airport applies for large new parking garage, but no timeline is set

Boise Airport officials are looking at the next step in the longterm plan to expand and upgrade the largest airport in the state. This week,...

SUEZ asks to increase residential and business rates; home increases could average nearly $80/year

SUEZ, the French company that delivers water to nearly 100,000 Ada County homes and commercial buildings, has proposed to increase rates by 22.3%. The...

Winter adjustments to Whitewater Park planned to stop ‘collapsing’ wave

Boise’s expanded whitewater park technically opened last July, but the city closed the centerpiece wave formation to wave riding action for nearly a year-and-a-half...

Popular

Boise made of Lego? How an Idaho guy dreamed up this skyline model

You might notice them in the stores. Lego sets with landmarks and skylines made out of the popular building bricks. Paris. Dubai. NYC. ...Boise? Not...

You asked: What’s the large Christmas display at Expo Idaho for?

A new Christmas experience will open at Expo Idaho this year - just in time for a socially distanced holiday season. Christmas in Color set...

In-N-Out Burger sets plan for Boise, but it will be a while still

It’s the question we get more than just about any other inquiry: When will the Boise area get an In-N-Out Burger? The California-based chain of...

Over the leftovers? Check out our takeout & delivery guide with more new options!

We had snow this week - and hopefully lots of Thanksgiving goodies. But if you're ready for something different - our Boise and Meridian...

Related

SERVPRO Certified

Latest

Boise made of Lego? How an Idaho guy dreamed up this skyline model

You might notice them in the stores. Lego sets with landmarks and skylines made out of the popular building bricks. Paris. Dubai. NYC. ...Boise? Not...

Get Local: Ideas on where and how to shop local this season

NEWS ANALYSIS Every holiday season, we hear about the importance of shopping local. This year, however, shopping Treasure Valley businesses is vital to the survival...

Over the leftovers? Check out our takeout & delivery guide with more new options!

We had snow this week - and hopefully lots of Thanksgiving goodies. But if you're ready for something different - our Boise and Meridian...

COVID spreads in Boise homeless shelters: one Boise Rescue Mission guest and staffer dead

Eight months after Idaho announced it’s first case of COVID-19, the pandemic is hitting Boise’s homeless community harder than ever.  In the past two weeks,...

Boise-based Norco purchased Utah-based automation & welding company

By Idaho Press staff Norco, a large, privately owned welding, safety, medical, and gas supplier, announced in a press release the acquisition of Arc Services...

‘I have never, ever felt this ill:’ Ahlquist, family contract COVID-19

By Nicole Camarda / Idaho News 6 Crush The Curve co-founder Tommy Ahlquist brought the first public COVID-19 tests to Idaho last spring. Now he...