Lake Oroville Recreation Improvement Projects

Lake Oroville Recreation Improvment Areas

The Department of Water Resources is investing more than $30 million on a number of recreation improvement projects to enhance visitor access and experiences at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. Below is a list of the many recreation improvement projects currently underway, which include permanent increases in parking, boat launching capacity, and enhanced trailhead facilities. Anticipated project completion timelines are subject to change.

Bidwell Canyon Stage 1 Boat Ramp Lane Additions

  • Construct one additional boat launch lane between elevation 781’ and 735’
  • Construct second additional lane between elevations 850’ and 735’
  • Added two new boat ramp lanes to the existing boat ramp
  • Significant upgrades for handicap access have been made to existing facilities
  • Timeline: Project completed in May 2018.

Bidwell Canyon Stage 2 Boat Ramp Improvements

  • Construct approximately 100 paved vehicle and trailer parking spaces
  • Construct two new boat launch lanes plus two boarding float lanes between elevations 745’ and 700’
  • Timeline: Construction anticipated to begin in late September 2018, scheduled for completion end of Spring 2019.

Bidwell Canyon Marina Parking Lot Expansion

  • Construct 100 single-vehicle gravel parking spaces below the high-water elevation of the lake
  • Improvement of an existing pedestrian path
  • Timeline: Construction anticipated to start December 2018, scheduled for completion in February 2019.

New Boat Ramp Facility at the Loafer Creek Recreation Area

  • Stage 1: Construct a new boat ramp with 3 launch lanes and one boarding float lane, as well as a paved parking lot with approximately 100 paved vehicle and trailer parking spaces.
  • Stage 1: Extend ramp from the high water elevation of 900’ to down to the 800’ elevation. This new facility will be located north of the existing day-use area at Loafer Creek.
  • Timeline: Stage 1 anticipated to begin winter of 2018, pending design approval and receipt of permits.

As part of the Stage 2 project, DWR plans to construct approximately 200 paved vehicle and trailer parking spaces, eight new boat launch lanes, and two boarding float lanes. The ramp will extend from around elevation 810’ to as low as terrain and lake levels allow, located north of the existing day use area at Loafer Creek Recreation Area.

Lime Saddle Boat Ramp Parking Lot Expansion Phase 1 and 2

  • Constructed a new parking lot with 60 paved vehicle and trailer parking spaces as well as lighting.
  • Significant upgrades for handicap access have been made to the existing facilities.
  • Timeline: Project completed in May 2018

Phase 1 involved clearing and grubbing, grading, and fill for a gravel parking lot.

Phase 2 included paving, drainage, striping, and lighting.

Enterprise Boat Ramp Expansion

  • Expand the existing boat ramp at Enterprise Recreation Area by constructing a new Stage 2 ramp to approximately elevation 750’
  • Construct Stage 2 Enterprise parking lot and access road
  • Upgrades for handicap access will be made to the existing facilities
  • Timeline: Project delayed for additional planning, design anticipated to resume this winter.

Bidwell Saddle Dam Trailhead Expansion and Improvements

  • During September 2017, DWR completed a project to significantly expand the size of the existing trailhead parking lot to accommodate additional vehicles and horse trailers
  • Phase 2 of the project will:
    • Provide potable water system for a watering trough, hand washing sink, and drinking fountain
    • Install additional hitching posts
    • Plant shade trees
    • Install 10 picnic tables and a ramada
  • Timeline: Phase 2 is anticipated to begin in August 2018.

Partnering Agencies

California State Parks manages the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, where you can find up-to-date information on weather, launch ramps, and other activities at the lake, and make camping reservations, at ReserveCalifornia. 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife operates the nearby Feather River Fish Hatchery and Oroville Wildlife Area. The hatchery website provides information on visiting hours and fish raised there. The wildlife area website contains information on recreation, hunting, and history of the area. To inquire about a tour of the hatchery, call our Oroville Field Division at (530) 534-2306. 

Along with State Parks, we operate the Lake Oroville Visitors Center  (also known as Kelly Ridge Visitors Center). It features interpretive displays, an audio-visual room with on-request videos, and a 47-foot viewing tower overlooking the dam and lake.

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