Heyburn State Park is the oldest park in the Pacific Northwest. Created in 1908, it is comprised of approximately 5,500 acres of land and 2,300 acres of water. The park includes three lakes; Chatcolet, Benewah, and Hidden Lakes, with the shadowy St. Joe River meandering along the eastern boundary of the park.
Natural and cultural history is plentiful at Heyburn. Before it was a park, the general area was a gathering place for the Coeur d' Alene Indian tribe. In the 1930's, the park was a Civilian Conservation Corps camp and those hardworking crews built many of the park's buildings.
Heyburn is a natural park with a variety of different habitats. Large, tall Ponderosa pines tower over grassy hillsides covered in wildflowers. On shadier slopes, cedar trees mix with hemlocks and huge white pines. On the edges of the lakes, the wetland/marsh areas are home to many types of wildflowers and plants.
The Coeur d’Alene Indians were the first inhabitants of the area now known as Heyburn State Park. It was an ideal place for an encampment. Then, as today, the lakes provided an abundance of fish, the marsh areas had plentiful waterfowl and the heavily timbered slopes and open meadows were ideal habitat for deer, bear and upland birds.
Heyburn State Park was created from the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation by an act of Congress, on April 20, 1908. The deed, signed by President William Howard Taft, granted 5,505 acres of land and 2,333 acres of water to the State. The park was named in honor of U.S. Senator W.B. Heyburn of Idaho.
Much of the early construction was performed by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp SP-1. Starting in 1934, Camp SP-1 members built roads, trails, bridges, campgrounds, picnic areas, picnic shelters and the Rocky Point Lodge (now the Rocky Point Interpretive Center). Today, many of these facilities are still in use—the CCC's proud legacy.
Fish for pike, bass, or pan fish in the lakes. Bird watching is terrific at Heyburn, with osprey and blue heron as common as sparrows back home. Boating, water skiing, sailing and canoeing are also popular pursuits. Trails for hikers or horseback riders are shaded by 400-year-old ponderosa pines. The Rocky Point Marina offers a public boat ramp, store, fuel dock, restroom and parking.
The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, a 72 mile paved bike trail, goes right through Heyburn State Park. You can bike or walk the 3100 foot bridge/trestle across the St Joe River to the other side of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The gentle grade is easy for just about anyone.
Plummer, ID -- Northern Idaho, S. of Coeur d'Alene
Mailing Address: 57 Chatcolet Rd, Plummer, ID 83851 -- Street Address: 57 Chatcolet Rd, Plummer, ID 83851 -- Phone: (208) 686-1308 -- Fax: (208) 686-0171 -- Toll Free: (208) 686-1308