Some Facebook friends share their park stories

Ponderosa State Park

By photographer Laura Minard

There aren't very many times I'm able to get away. I've been married 11 years to an incredible man, and we have two wonderful children, 9 and 6 1/2 years old — DON'T forget the half! I love my life and the busy-ness of it, but oh how I love to get away.

This past September I was blessed with the opportunity to go to the wonderful town of McCall and stay on Payette Lake. Payette Lake is a beautiful place to boat, camp, and hike, with sandy beaches and an amazing view of the mountains. Half of Payette Lake is protected as part of Ponderosa State Park. An amazing palette of colors filled the sky every morning, and a new exhibit of nature's beauty went on display every night.

I was greeted every morning by the cutest little deer family. The sound of the birds and other wildlife played as a melody in the air. The lapping water on the shore was like nature's breath calming down the elements around me and ridding me of the sounds of the outside world. The smell of the pine and fresh crisp air awakened my lungs and reminded me how much nature is medicine for the soul. I have made up my mind that this place is my little heaven on earth, which is saying something since I live in Idaho and Idaho IS heaven on earth.

Ponderosa State Park covers most of a 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into beautiful Payette Lake near McCall. [Courtesy Laura Minard]
There are 300-year-old ponderosa pines in the park, because in 1905 the locals asked the Legislature to protect the stands of timber around the lake. [Courtesy Laura Minard]
There is easy access to the park year-round, since it's so close to McCall, but there are places to escape and be alone. [Courtesy Laura Minard]
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