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LibbyMt.com > News > May 2005 > Libby Dam offers summer recreation

Libby Dam offers summer recreation
May 3, 2005

Libby Dam is located 17 miles upstream on the Kootenai River from Libby, creating Lake Koocanusa reservoir. The Visitor Center at the dam opens on Memorial Day weekend and is open daily through the summer until Labor Day weekend.

The Visitor Center makes a great place to take the family and friends for a day excursion from Libby. It has a variety of hands-on exhibits featuring wildlife and fisheries, flood control, hydropower and recreation in the exhibit area, book/gift sales area and auditorium featuring, "The Power and Beauty of the Kootenai, the Story of Libby Dam." The visitor center is located on the west side of the dam and can be reached from the Forest Development Road (FDR) #228. It is open daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

The visitor parking area and boat ramp will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For security reasons, the top of the dam will remain closed to all traffic again this summer.

Guided Tours: Guided tours of the dam and powerhouse are offered from the visitor center at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Saturday, May 28. If you are interested in taking a tour of Libby Dam, you must check-in at the visitor center front desk at least 10 minutes prior to the start of each tour. Tours last approximately 1 Ĺ hours and start from the visitor center. Adults taking the tour must bring photo identification in the form of a valid driverís license or passport. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bags, backpacks or purses are not allowed on tours. Cameras, video equipment or other electronic devices are no longer allowed either. When necessary, personal medication can be carried. School groups and special request tours are welcome throughout the year. Tours are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather or maintenance in the dam or powerhouse. For information regarding special tours, please contact the visitor center at (406) 293-5577.

Junior Ranger Programs: The Junior Ranger Programs have been very popular during previous summer recreation seasons. They will be offered again through the season from mid-June through mid-August. Junior Ranger programs will take place at Firemenís Park in Libby on Wednesday mornings from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. The first program is planned for June 15. Programs are also being scheduled in Eureka in coordination with the summer school program. Troy and Bonners Ferry will be coordinated through the summer library programs.

Campfire Programs: The campfire program will continue this year Saturday evenings from 8 to 9 p.m. at Dunn Creek Campground. Come on out, join the group and have símores! You may want to bring a lawn chair to help you feel more comfortable while you enjoy a great program hosted by the Libby Dam Park Rangers. Weekly information on the campfire programs will be available at the visitor center and in your local paper.

Sunday Fun Days: The summer months are filled with excitement as Libby Dam hosts Sunday Fun Days at the Libby Dam Visitor Center. Come on out and enjoy one of our special events. Whether you like to take a nature hike with a park ranger, bring the kids out for an afternoon of games, or an afternoon relaxing at the movies, Libby Dam is here for you! Keep your eye out for upcoming activities in your local paper.

Campgrounds and Day Use Areas: The Corps of Engineers operates three campgrounds below Libby Dam: Dunn Creek, Alexander Creek and Blackwell Flats. All campgrounds are open this summer and are free to the public. Firewood will not be provided to campsites this summer.

Souse Gulch Day Use Area will open daily after May 15. The day use area is located immediately adjacent to the visitor center. This area contains 46 picnic sites, restroom facilities, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits and 2 playgrounds. There are three group shelters available for larger picnics. Each shelter has four tables, two cooking grills, two sinks with running water and electricity. Please contact the at (406) 293-5577 to schedule your free reservation today! Reservations are required at least one day prior to use. Volunteer Hosts are on site from May through September at the Souse Gulch Day Use Area. Visitors may also call upon the park rangers at the visitor center for more information. The boat ramp and visitor parking are available year-round. Visitors wishing to camp on their boats, while out on the lake, can make special arrangements for parking vehicles and boat trailers at Souse Gulch by contacting the park rangers at the visitor center.

Several primitive recreation sites are located along the Kootenai River, just below the dam, offering access to the river for fishing. These areas are Blackwell Flats, Dunn Creek Flats (with boat ramp), Alexander Creek and the Downstream Wildlife Viewing Area. Fishing is also available directly below Libby Dam on the downstream side of the fence.

Live Eagle Cam: The US Army Corps of Engineers put up a webcam pointed at a bald eagleís nest near Libby Dam in the spring of 2004. Until just recently, the camera picture has only been accessible from the feed at the Libby Dam Visitor Center. This webcam is now accessible to the public via the internet. Viewers can use the Eagle Cam to watch the parent eagles on the nest and see the chicks as they mature. The EagleCam can be found at: http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/libby.cfm.

For more information about activities at the Libby Dam, contact Park Ranger, Alana Mesenbrink at the Libby Dam Visitor Center, (406)-293-5577.

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