Grand Opening of Southwest Idaho’s Kelly’s Whitewater Park

Posted by Spalding Hurst

May 26, 2010

SOUTHWEST, Idaho- The grand opening ceremonies for Kelly’s Whitewater Park, Idaho’s first whitewater park, is scheduled for Monday June 14 at 2:45pm. Idaho Governor Butch Otter will join local dignitaries and supporters to welcome the public at the park situated on the North Fork of the Payette River, located in Cascade, ID. Kelly’s Whitewater Park is a great place for families, just an hour and a half drive north of Boise on State Hwy 55, and it’s free to the public!

Kayakers, tubers, rafters, and canoeists of all ages will enjoy the park’s five in-water features which will be challenging for both beginning and advanced paddlers. Beginner and advanced areas have been divided by a man-made island which splits the river. All features were engineered with safety in mind, with waves designed to move guests to the banks of the river rather than being re-circulated back into the action.

The park is also home to a 2,600 square-foot Welcome Center that is perched over the river with panoramic views of the water features and will be a major attraction all by itself. The center will feature exhibitions showcasing the history of area Native Americans and settlers, ranching, railroads, mining and timber industries and the recreational background of the region in a gallery type setting. The Welcome Center provides bathrooms and changing rooms, a wood burning stone fireplace and indoor seating. The 3.4 acre landscaped grounds include an outdoor amphitheater.

The Grammy award winning band Blues Traveler will perform on August 21, 2010 in Donnelly, Idaho. Proceeds from the concert will be used to fund operating costs of KWP. Watch for tickets going on sale in the coming weeks.

Recently Kelly’s Kayak School was launched and aims to provide students in Valley County with free kayaking lessons. The school is sponsored by Friends of Kelly’s Whitewater Park, a nonprofit organization that built the park. Its goals are to introduce a new sport to area youth, provide kayak instruction in a safe environment and ultimately cultivate future Olympians. The enrollment for the first year is 64 students.

Kelly’s Whitewater Park is expected to be open 10am – 8pm, Monday through Friday and 8am – 8pm, Saturday and Sunday through September 17, 2010. KWP is located at mile marker 114.4 on Highway 55. For more information contact Wayne Brown, Kelly’s Whitewater Park Director, at 208.315.2363 or visit


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