Seattle Waterfront, Photo by Son Nguyen
Seattle City Light JIM BAGGS, Interim General Manager and CEO
Boundary Hydroelectric Project
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A Diverse Range of Recreational Opportunities

The Boundary Hydroelectric Project occupies an important regional niche in the provision of outdoor recreational opportunities within a highly scenic, uncrowded setting. The 17.5-mile long, approximately 1,794-acre Boundary Reservoir offers many recreational activities, including boating, fishing, sightseeing, picnicking, and camping, among others.

Seattle City Light is committed to preserving and enhancing these recreational activities for visitors to the Boundary Project area, and is embarking on a number of projects to enhance these opportunities. Please check back frequently for updates.

A sample of recreational activities associated with the Boundary Project is provided below:

Visit Boundary Dam

Take a free guided tour to the Visitors' Gallery located deep inside a massive limestone cavern. For details, visit http://www.seattle.gov/light/tours/boundary.

Visitor Center    Limestone Cavern

Recreational Fishing Program

City Light is stocking trout in numerous lakes within a 15-mile area around the Boundary Project. Trout species stocked in these lakes will consist of westslope cutthroat, rainbow, rainbow triploid, and/or tiger trout. Approximately 12,000 pounds of fish will be produced and planted annually beginning in 2014 and continuing for the next 40 years.

Cutthroat Trout in Creek    3 Cutthroat Trout

Forebay Recreation Area

In 2017 Seattle City Light began construction of substantial improvements at the Forebay Recreation Area campground and boat launch. The improvements include increasing the number of designated RV and/or tent campsites from 12 to 22; enhancing day-use areas with interpretive signage, landscaping, and picnic sites, including a new group picnic shelter; and extending the existing boat ramp lane so boats may be launched and/or retrieved with fewer problems due to fluctuating water surface elevations during the summer. All of the new improvements are designed to be ADA-accessible.

Expected completion and re-opening of the Forebay Recreation Area is expected to occur at the end of July or early August 2018. Until that time, the entire site, including both the campground and boat launch, will remain closed to the public. Please continue to check back here for updates on the expected re-opening of the site. For additional information, please call (206) 233-2631 or email Mike Aronowitz at michael.aronowitz@seattle.gov.

Please be advised that while the Forebay Recreation Area remains closed for construction, there are no put-in or take-out spots on the Pend Oreille River downstream (north) of Metaline Falls.


main shelter Pad    new road

new building    Shelter2 Pad

Metaline Waterfront Park

In the summer of 2019, Seattle City Light will begin constructing improvements at Metaline Waterfront Park, an existing park owned and operated by the Town of Metaline along the shoreline of Boundary reservoir. The planned improvements are the outcome of a multi-year process of outreach and public engagement during which City Light solicited input from the Metaline Town Council, local residents, and recreationists. One of the highlights of the new park design is a boat launch, which, in addition to providing an extended concrete boat ramp to provide better access to the Pend Oreille River during lower water surface elevations, will include a new boarding float, a kayak ramp and parking.

Upland improvements being made to the park include a new group shelter with a fire pit, playground equipment, a restroom building, landscaping and a wooden bridge across Linton Creek which runs through the middle of the park. All the new improvements will meet accessibility guidelines, including accessible pathways connecting each structure.

Please continue to check back here for updates on the temporary closure of Metaline Waterfront Park during construction. For additional information, please call (206) 233-2631 or email Mike Aronowitz at michael.aronowitz@seattle.gov. Metaline Waterfront Park Pic 1    Metaline Waterfront Park Pic 2

Vista House

Located immediately downstream of Boundary Dam on a promontory along the eastern bank of the Pend Oreille River, the Vista House was built in 1965 and provides panoramic views of the dam and surrounding landscape. The Vista House provides interpretive displays, restrooms, and a picnic area. There is also a 0.25-mile-long gravel trail providing access from the Vista House to an outdoor viewing platform.

The Vista House is open daily free-of-charge during the primary recreation season (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weeken). To visit the site, travel 11 miles north from Metaline Falls on State Route 31, and then two miles west on the Eastside Access Road, at Crescent Lake.

Vista House on Mountain    Vista House Amoung Trees

Dispersed Recreation Sites

Multiple areas along the reservoir shoreline provide opportunities for dispersed recreation activities, such as camping, fishing, and day use. Access to these shoreline sites is primarily by water, although some sites also have non-motorized trail or primitive road access.

Six of these sites have been selected for enhancements, which may include such amenities as a fire ring, picnic tables, a tent pad or pads, a watercraft landing/tie-up area, bulletin boards, and a primitive sanitation facility. These enhancements will be completed by 2020.

In order to provide non-motorized boaters an alternative to avoiding or running the rapids at the falls at Metaline Falls, City Light will develop a new portage trail in the vicinity of the falls by 2020.

Several sites along the shoreline are also part of the Pend Oreille River Water Trail. For information and maps of the water trail, visit http://www.pendoreilleriver.com/.

Canoeists @ Canyon Ranch    Camping Recreation

New Trails at the Boundary Project

The canyon reach area of the reservoir between Metaline Falls and Boundary Dam offers spectacular views of canyon features including geology and steep rock faces, wildlife, dense forest vegetation, nearby mountains, and seeps and waterfalls, including Peewee Falls, a destination spot located in a cove near the forebay. However, access to this area is primarily accessible only by watercraft.

In order to provide additional access to this area for visitors arriving by vehicle and foot, City Light is constructing two new viewpoints and trailheads along the eastern ridge of the canyon. One trailhead will offer views of Peewee Falls, and the other trailhead will be located near the Riverside Mine and offer views of the canyon. Both sites will be equipped with parking and restrooms and will be completed by 2020.

For hiking enthusiasts, City Light will construct a new, approximately 4-6 mile trail connecting the Peewee Falls and Riverside Mine Canyon viewpoints by 2023.

PeeWee Falls    Trail to View Points

Other Useful Links

Colville National Forest
Crawford State Park and Gardner Cave
The International Selkirk Loop
The Pend Oreille River Tourism Alliance
The Cutter Theatre

Comments are always appreciated. For more information or to provide feedback, please contact SCL_Recreation@seattle.gov.
Related Content

Recreation Resources Management Plan
Boundary Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2144)


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