Posts Tagged ‘Payette Lake’


Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Payette Lake Cruises, a new concession on Payette Lake, is open and ready for McCall’s summer tourists.  “The Idaho,” a 65′, 90-passenger, double-deck cruise boat arrived in McCall last month and officially began offering cruises to the public the first of June.

One of the prime draws to McCall is beautiful, pristine Payette Lake providing scenic and recreational opportunities to tourists and locals alike.  Payette Lake Cruises will add to this venue by offering daily scenic public cruises, Sunday morning brunch cruises, sunset dinner cruises, 4th of July fireworks cruise and private charters.  During the 90-minute daily cruise, guests will learn about the lake and area history, discover wildlife in a pristine environment, view stunning and secluded lake homes, and enjoy the warm summer weather.

The Sunday Brunch Cruise is sure to be a favorite this summer providing guests with the unique experience of dining in a natural environment.  A full breakfast buffet will be offered prepared fresh by outstanding local caterers.

The owners of this new venture are partners Seth Jacobsen of McCall and Fred Finney of Coeur d’Alene.  Seth knew that lake cruises were highly popular in the past and wondered why not now.   The availability of high quality, affordable and accessible recreational activities for both residents and visitors in this tourism based economy has waned in recent decades.  Seth, a 25 year resident of McCall, saw a prime opportunity and felt a sense of responsibility to provide a solution. Together with Fred Finney, he formed the perfect partnership.

Fred Finney, who now owns and operates Finney Boat Works, Inc. in Post Falls, Idaho, began his career in the cruise industry in 1967 at the age of 11.  Fred has managed the company’s operations and built the company up to 6 boats with a capacity of more than 1200 passengers.  Fred and Seth’s combined experience, knowledge and skills will ensure the public a highly memorable experience.

“The Idaho” vessel incorporates a versatile layout ideal for a wide variety of cruises and events.  The main dining room will seat up to 40 passengers comfortably and the outside decks are capable of hosting up to 55 passengers.  It’s compartmentalized steel hull design makes the vessel very stable and impact resistant.  Combine this with a safety focused, qualified crew and up-to-date safety gear and you are sure to have peace of mind while cruising Payette Lake.

The Idaho

To contact Payette Lake Cruises for availability and pricing, click here.


Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

McCall’s Payette Lake plays a role in the official start of spring for the community each year.  A bright yellow barrel, placed on the ice during the winter by The Star News, nudged up onto the beach at Legacy Park at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, April 23rd, signaling the start of spring.  The barrel hit the shore after winter’s ice melted earning $100 for the person guessing the date and time closest to the barrel’s landing.

This year’s annual event was a promotion for a teen center in McCall which took in $153.03 from donations enclosed with the ballots cast at various businesses around McCall.

According to The Star News, “The April 23 landing date is within the “prime time” of dates of the ice break-up on Payette Lake that have been recorded since 1909.”  April 29th has seen the lake break nine times in the past 100 years, the most for any date.

The break-up dates for 2010 and 2011 were the same, May 9th, which is later than the 63 times breaking between April 21st and May 8th in the last century.

The latest the lake has broken was May 20, 1912 and the earliest break-up date was March 21, 1992.  1933-34 never saw Payette Lake freeze at all.


Saturday, October 2nd, 2010


The McCall Curling Club is hosting its 6th Annual Rocktoberspiel October 1-3, 2010.  Rocktoberspiel is a play on the word Bonspiel, which is what a curling tournament is called.  The largest event so far, the 2010 Rocktoberspiel is host to 20 teams from McCall, Boise, Utah, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon and Canada.  The teams are participating in matches, called draws, from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 7:30 to 12:15 on Sunday.

Curling rocks displayed on an outdoor curling rink

The Manchester Ice and Event Centre, located in downtown McCall with gorgeous views of Payette Lake from its massive windows, is the location for all matches.  The opening ceremonies, held Friday night between two of the draws, began with all teams marching onto the ice to a traditional bagpipe tune.  After the playing of both the Canadian and United States National Anthems, the bonspiel was kicked off with the traditional shot of tequila by a couple of McCall’s Rocktoberspiel organizers as a toast to Good Curling.

A Saturday night banquet is held, hosted by The McCall Golf Course, with a no-host bar and following dinner.  Each year, Tim Garber, owner of The Mill Restaurant and a member of the McCall Curling Club, donates enough prime rib to feed the group and Jeff and Monty Goodman, owners of Toll Station Pizza, donate another portion of the evenings dinner.  Loacal area merchants are always very generous and donate many wonderful items to be raffled off and placed in a silent auction.  All event proceeds benefit the McCall Curling Club’s very active Junior Program.

Want to learn more about the sport and give it a try?  Check out the club’s Learn-to-Curl event scheduled for October 10th, from 4-6 p.m. at The Manchester Ice and Event Centre.  Adults cost $20 and youth, ages 7-19, cost $5.   An email requesting additional information can be sent to the club at


Saturday, July 3rd, 2010


I think there is no place more special to celebrate the birthday of our nation than in beautiful McCall, Idaho overlooking Payette Lake and the surrounding mountains.  With the numerous activities planned by the McCall Chamber of Commerce, there is something to satisfy every one’s desire – whether it be rest and relaxation, vigorous exercise or something in between.

The McCall Chamber of Commerce recently introduced a new event calendar on their website detailing their planned activities and those of chamber members.  It’s a great place to check out what’s happening during the time you will be visiting our resort community.

Brundage Mountain Resort is always a happening place during the July 4th celebration.  It’s the opening weekend of their lift-served, mountain biking program.  This year included a day of free, scenic chair-lift rides, great food, drink and festive music.  Whether you’re looking for a relaxing ride in a pretty mountain setting, or an adrenaline rush, Brundage Mountain’s lift-served mountain biking has it all.  You can view and download a trail map here.

Brundage's Blue Bird chair heading to the top for a fun ride down!

For many visitors and residents, the 4th of July fireworks over Payette Lake may be the highlight of the holiday celebration.  They follow a festive sailboat parade which leaves the downtown area an hour or so before dusk and cruises along the shore to cheering and waving from revelers lining the shoreline.  The spectacular light show ushers in the dark and lights up the many boats which have ventured out to the middle of the lake for the best light show viewing.  The mad dash of boat lights heading home at the completion of the fireworks is quite a sight itself!

McCall is a great place to be any time of year; but, the 4th of July with all the associated festivities is an especially fun time to visit.


Sunday, May 30th, 2010


One of McCall’s greatest treasures is Ponderosa State Park, located just minutes from downtown.  It’s a gorgeous 1,000 acre peninsula of land jutting out into Payette Lake containing lots of flora and fauna.  The ponderosa trees are huge!  Deer, elk, moose, bear, fox, geese, ducks, osprey, bald eagles and other animals call this paradise home making it a great place to do a little wildlife viewing any time of day.

The park’s namesake, the 150-foot-tall ponderosa pine, is the most noticeable species of tree; but, Douglas fir, grand fir, lodgepole pine and western larch, otherwise known as Tamarack, also grow in the park.  Ponderosa State Park is rich in wildflowers, especially along the interpretive trail that winds around Meadow Marsh.  In late summer, the smell of huckleberries fill the air and attract berry pickers of all ages. 

Hiking and biking are very popular in the park.  The diverse trail topography ranges from areas of arid sagebrush to a forested lakeside; from flat land to steep cliffs; and from dense, lush forest land to boggy marshland.  There are trails to satisfy all ability levels.  Osprey Cliff Overlook offers a spectacular view of Payette Lake all the way from North Beach to downtown McCall.  Nature trails and gravel roads have been developed so visitors can enjoy opportunities to view wildlife in these areas.

View the Ponderosa State Park Trail Map here.

The fee to enjoy the park is $5/day/vehicle; but, if you ride your bike or hike into the park, no fee is required.  Not many communities can boast of such a treasure right in their own back yard!

View of Payette Lake from Osprey Overlook