|Recreation & Sports Links|
Whether you are looking for heart-pounding adventure, physically demanding challenges that test your skills in human competition or against wily mountain trout, or you simply want to relax and enjoy the scenery, Cascade and the Heartland offers an exciting variety of opportunities. If you're looking for milder forms of recreation such as golf, tennis, sailing and other forms of water sports, you’ll find these in abundance also.
Starting out from Cascade there are millions of acres of unspoiled mountainous landscape where you will find pristine alpine lakes, sparkling streams, rushing whitewater rivers and hundreds of miles of trails for hiking or mountain biking during the summer months and skiing or snowmobiling during winter. The variety of the region's landscape, combined with the uniqueness of its communities, makes Cascade stand out from most resort areas; and, as you will discover, is a very special place indeed.
Outfitters and Guides
There are numerous outfitters and guides throughout the region who can provide you with services to experience a true outdoor adventure. These include river rafting, pack trips, hunting and fishing trips or simple camp outs, all with full services to make your adventure safe and memorable. All of the locally based guides and outfitters are licensed, bonded and permitted for the services they offer.
If you are looking for a camping experience in the Great Outdoors, there are hundreds of campsites throughout the Heartland National Forests and State campgrounds. The facilities and setting for the campgrounds vary considerably so it is wise to inquire with the local ranger districts to find the best choice to suit your interests, needs and camping experience. The Cascade area alone has over 500 camping facilities, many of which are along the shores of Lake Cascade.
Self-Guided Auto Tours
Not to be overlooked is the simple pleasure of exploring the vast backcountry regions by car. Well-maintained roads can take you to rustic, historic mining towns, beautiful, high mountain meadows, brilliantly sparkling streams and isolated mineral hot springs in which to soak and relax. The grandeur of the vistas alone is worth the drive to any one of the accessible areas. Stop by the Payette National Forest office for information on self-guided auto tours.
Exploring the Wilderness
If you would really like to see pristine forests virtually untouched by modern civilization and not crowded with visitors, the wilderness areas lying within the Heartland are a perfect choice. For a true wilderness experience you can explore either the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness with more than 2,600 miles of trails or the Hells Canyon Wilderness with 208 miles of trails in the Idaho portion. An alternative to simple hiking or backpacking is horse packing services available from local outfitters and guides.
Guided Horseback Trail Rides
Experiencing the beauty and challenges of the Heartland from the back of a horse gives the rider a unique and unforgettable experience. Imagine riding through forested trails that wind around scenic lake viewpoints and the surrounding mountains. Often one will see deer, foxes and an occasional elk or bear.
For those who would like to get into the real backcountry or simply have a spectacular view of it, there are charter flights available from Cascade airport. The Heartland opens up to a vast area including the Payette and Boise National Forests, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and wilderness areas including the Gospel Hump, Selway/Bitterroot and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, all of which together comprise by far the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. Numerous airstrips in the region provide access to roadless areas with the opportunity for world-class camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and recreation.
Hunting the Heartland
For many people fall is their favorite time of year. It is also a great time to view wildlife and enjoy the brilliant autumn colors. The one activity that is primarily limited to the fall and that draws many people to Cascade is hunting. Early fall is usually mild; however, it doesn't hurt to be a bit more cautious about weather conditions.
Sportsmen from around the state and across the nation come to Idaho's Heartland for the abundance of hunting opportunities. There are regular seasons for deer, elk, bear, antelope, and mountain lion; however, hunting for bighorn sheep and mountain goat is seasonal and requires special permits. Much of the game to be found in easily accessible areas requires only limited travel or physical exertion. Local inquiry before any trip off the main roads is especially important. For the truly serious hunter, guided trips into the wilderness area are an option. Upland game birds are plentiful and provide a real challenge in the rugged, mountainous areas.
For information regarding permit requirements, regulations and the dates of hunting seasons, contact the Idaho Fish & Game McCall Regional Office at (208) 634-8137 or visit www.fishandgame.idaho.gov