Merced Irrigation District - Parks and Recreation

The Following Park Facilities are OPEN:

  • McSwain A and B loop Electrical Modernization is completed –  OPEN
  • All Campgrounds and Cabins – OPEN
  • Lake McClure – OPEN
  • Lake McSwain – OPEN
  • McSwain Ramp – OPEN
  • Horseshoe Bend Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove South Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove North Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point North Ramp – OPEN 
  • Bagby Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove Swim Lagoon – OPEN
  • McClure Point Swim Lagoon – OPEN
  • Reel Deal Market and Cafe at McSwain – OPEN (9:30 AM – 6:00 PM Saturday’s and Sunday’s)
  • Barrett Cove Marina – OPEN (9:30 AM – 6:00 PM Saturday’s and Sunday’s)

The following Park Facilities are CLOSED:  

  • Horseshoe Bend Swim Lagoon – CLOSED

Campfires: Wood burning campfires are PROHIBITED. Propane and charcoal fires are permitted year round.

Current conditions updated 6/10/2024.

Merced Irrigation District - Parks and Recreation

 

The following Park Facilities are OPEN:

  • All Campgrounds and Cabins – OPEN
  • Lake McClure – OPEN
  • Lake McSwain – OPEN
  • McSwain Ramp – OPEN
  • Horseshoe Bend Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove South Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove North Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point North Ramp – OPEN
  • Bagby Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove Swim Lagoon – OPEN
  • McClure Point Swim Lagoon – OPEN

The following Park Facilities are CLOSED:

  • A and B loop at Lake McSwain is closed for an Electrical Modernization Project
  • Horseshoe Bend Swim Lagoon – CLOSED

 Campfires: Wood burning fires are currently PROHIBITED. Propane and charcoal fires are permitted year round. 

Updated 6/5/24

The following Park Facilities are OPEN:

  • All Campgrounds and Cabins – OPEN
  • Lake McClure – OPEN
  • Lake McSwain – OPEN
  • McSwain Ramp – OPEN
  • Horseshoe Bend Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point North Ramp – OPEN 
  • Bagby Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove Swim Lagoon – OPEN
  • McClure Point Swim Lagoon – OPEN

The following Park Facilities are CLOSED  

  • Barrett North Ramp – CLOSED
  • Horseshoe Bend Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove Marina – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove Upper Store – CLOSED

Campfires: Wood burning fires are currently permitted in contained rings and burn safe barrels. Propane and charcoal fires ONLY during wildfire season.

***Some rate increases will occur starting on 3/31/23** Day Use fees are all increasing by $2 – Compliance Fee raises to $50 **

The following Park Facilities are OPEN:

  • All Campgrounds and Cabins – OPEN
  • Lake McClure – OPEN
  • Lake McSwain – OPEN
  • Horseshoe Bend Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point North Ramp – OPEN 

The following Park Facilities are CLOSED

  • McSwain Ramp – TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR DAM MAINTENANCE 3/16 – ?
  • Bagby Ramp – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove North Ramp – CLOSED
  • McClure Point Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Horseshoe Bend Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove Marina – CLOSED

Campfires: Wood burning fires are currently PERMITTED only in contained rings and fire safe bins. Propane and charcoal fires are permitted year round

***Some rate increases will occur starting on 3/31/23** Day Use fees are all increasing by $2 – Compliance Fee raises to $50 **

The following Park Facilities are OPEN:

  • All Campgrounds and Cabins – OPEN
  • Lake McClure – OPEN
  • Lake McSwain – OPEN
  • Horseshoe Bend Ramp – OPEN
  • Barrett Cove South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point South Ramp – OPEN
  • McClure Point North Ramp – OPEN 

The following Park Facilities are CLOSED

  • McSwain Ramp – TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR DAM MAINTENANCE 3/16 – ?
  • Bagby Ramp – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove North Ramp – CLOSED
  • McClure Point Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Horseshoe Bend Swim Lagoon – CLOSED
  • Barrett Cove Marina – CLOSED

Campfires: Wood burning fires are currently PERMITTED only in contained rings and fire safe bins. Propane and charcoal fires are permitted year round

Best Hidden Fishing Spots in Northern California

Discovering the History of Lake McClure: How It Became a Popular Tourist Destination

June 27th, 2023

Lake McClure is more than just a picturesque reservoir nestled in the rolling hills of California’s Central Valley. It’s a living testament to the ingenuity and
determination of those who built it and the people who continue to rely on it today.

The reservoir is owned and operated by Merced Irrigation District (MID). Construction of the original Exchequer Reservoir began in 1924 and
continued through 1926. It represented a multi-benefit effort: the new reservoir would provide flood protection, water storage, hydroelectricity and recreation. When completed, the original Exchequer Dam stretched 310 feet high and was 1,200 feet long. The reservoir could store more than 281,000-
acre-feet of water. As part of the construction, some 17 miles of the since-decommissioned Yosemite Valley Railroad had to be realigned. The name
Exchequer Dam is taken from the Exchequer Mining Company, from which MID had purchased its land to build the dam on the Merced River. A
dedication ceremony was held on June 3, 1926. Approximately 1,000 people participated in the event after riding the Yosemite Valley Railroad from nearby Merced.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s plans developed to expand the reservoir into what we now know as Lake McClure. Construction work began in 1964 on the New Exchequer Dam and it was completed in 1968 allowing MID to store more than 1-million-acre-feet of water in the reservoir. In the decades since its creation, Lake McClure has played a crucial role in the lives of those who depend on it. It provides water for agriculture, electricity for homes and businesses, as well as being a hotspot for many recreational activities. four reasons why you should consider Lake McClure and McSwain for your next road trip destination:

Besides its usefulness for water and power, Lake McClure has also been established as a popular tourist destination. Fishing is a favorite pastime,
with the lake full of trout, bass, and catfish. Boating and water sports are also popular, with kayaking, jet skiing and paddleboarding opportunities
available. For those who prefer to stay on land, mountain biking trails wind through the surrounding hills, offering stunning views of the lake and
surrounding landscape. And with picnic areas, campgrounds, and even a water park nearby, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful
corner of California.

Lake McClure’s legacy lives on and represents a proud testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of those who built it. Whether you’re a history
buff or simply a lover of the great outdoors, Lake McClure is a must-see destination that’s sure to leave you in awe of the power and potential of
human ingenuity.