Visiting Winchester Idaho State Park

Winchester Idaho State Park

Winchester Idaho State Park

Sometimes I can be a jerk.

The dogs and I decided to take a quick summer trip last summer. For those who know me, know I plan my trips thoroughly.

This trip was the exception. There was no pre-planning. I threw together the trip in about 30 minutes.  It was amazing that I could get myself and the dogs organized that quickly. I also winged most of my decisions, which was both good and bad.

Winchester Idaho State Park

Winchester Lake

Good because I am the person who will quote Captain Ron “we will be spontaneous when we have time”.

It was also bad because challenges that could be avoided by planning could have been prevented.
In the challenge, we had during our trip to Winchester State Park, was the heat. And I’m not talking like it was a little warmer than I had expected. It was more like the gates of hell had opened up and cocooned us in its inferno.

When we arrived at Winchester State Park the dogs were looking for a bit of reprieve from the heat. As I checked in with the park ranger I asked if the noted dog-friendly park had any swimming spots for my dogs. He chuckled at me and said “your dog isn’t allowed off leash, so if he can swim on leash then he can go swimming”

Although I always enjoy a smart ass I gave the guy a head nod with a slight purse of the lips, implying my dissatisfaction with his mocking request.

Winchester Idaho State Park

He looks happy, but really that’s Boomer’s mad face

After thinking about the ridiculous request, I conjured up a solution. Fortunately for Boomer, I usually carry 4 different leashes. And so I attached all the leashes, end to end and hooked them to Boomer and let him go for his swim. Although it was annoying to keep the leash out of the way of Boomer’s legs it did allow us to follow the rules.. technically.

And that my friends is how I am a jerk.

Winchester Idaho State Park

A bridge leading out to Lakeshore Trail

After Boomer’s swim, we took a quick jaunt around the lake that was filled with non-motorized boats, trying their luck with fishing. There were also land dwellers fishing from the shoreline.

Although Winchester State Park is a state park, it was probably the least state “parky” of all the parks we had visited this past summer. It definitely felt more like a local’s hang out with large groups of people scattered about the lake. It was not to the point of being unwelcoming, but something to know before you go.

Winchester Idaho State Park

Boomer and Jovi on the trail

There is one main trail, Lakeshore Trail, around the lake with several choose your own adventure sub trails that lead you off into the forest and return you back to the main trail. For the most part, the trails did not have heavy traffic.  This is a bonus, however, due to the leash rules, dogs are not allowed to run freely.

Winchester Idaho State Park

Winchester Lake

After finishing up the Lakeshore Trail I took the dogs for a swim again. Boomer was over the being teathed by the leash and let his disdain be known for the leash swimming. He even went as far as picking up the leash in his mouth and dramatically tossing on the water, making a large splash. After each splash, he would look at me like ‘unhook me fool’. But I’m a rule follower and did not unhook the leash, much to his dismay.

We wrapped up our visit to Winchester State Park shortly thereafter.  The dogs were interested in finding a swimming location where they could be unleashed and free to swim about. Which Hells Gate State Park, in Lewiston Idaho, did accommodate this request, sort of, but it was better than leash swimming

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