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Originally published June 8, 2013 at 12:03 AM | Page modified June 8, 2013 at 12:04 AM

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Disc golfing catching on in Idaho

Idaho state parks are well-known for their fishing, boating, hiking, camping and scenery.

Idaho Statesman

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EAGLE, Idaho —

Idaho state parks are well-known for their fishing, boating, hiking, camping and scenery.

But there's another outdoor sport that's been in a hole-in-one for state parks.

Six state parks have disc golf courses, and the number of courses is expected to grow.

"State parks are good about growing along with the popularity of the sport," said Travis Taylor, a park ranger (and avid disc golfer) at Walcott State Park near Rupert.

Although the state park is known for its fishing and boating, disc golfers from far and wide love the course.

It also helps that the state park is halfway between Salt Lake City and Boise and gets a lot of family reunions, he said, and families love to play disc golf.

Besides Walcott, Taylor has played Eagle Island and Massacre Rocks state parks and enjoys both.

Taylor said the courses at state parks introduce people to disc golf.

"They first play with a regular Wham-O (Frisbee) and then they get into it," he said.

So, if you're traveling to state parks this summer, don't forget to take a few discs along with your trekking poles and Camelbak.

It's free to play the courses, but remember there's a $5 motor vehicle entry fee unless you have the annual state parks pass.

Here are state parks that have courses:


The course: Eagle Island is an urban day-use state park with swimming, fishing, a waterslide, hiking and horseback riding.

There's year-round disc golfing with a nine-hole course available May through October and an 18-hole course open November through April.

Golfers like the woodsy feel of the park and also some of the water and brush hazards.

Another advantage is that the courses are not as crowded as others in the Treasure Valley.

Getting there: Eagle Island State Park is on Hatchery Drive east of Linder Road between Idaho 44 and East Chinden Boulevard.


The course: Three Island is known for its Oregon Trail history and bird watching, but you can also watch discs flying.

The park has a nine-hole course, but park officials have put in for a grant for another nine holes.

What would Oregon Trail pioneers think of a disc golf course? Well, they could have played disc golf with dried cow pies.

Enough on history. The current course is on a grassy parklike flat in the picnic area near the Snake River. You'll love the shade, which is especially welcomed in summer.

Although the course is fairly easy, there are a couple of spots where you have to throw over an old (dry most of the time) pond and through some trees. It's a short distance, but you've got to hook to the left.

The park has been throwing around a name for the course: "Gone with the Wind."

We all know how windy it can get along the Snake River. Just hope it's at your back when you're throwing.

Getting there: Take Interstate 84 east from Boise to Glenns Ferry and follow the signs. Driving time is about an hour and a half.


The course: The park is known for its fishing and boating, but the 21-hole disc golf course gets raves from pros and families alike.

It's in a grassy part of the park and mostly flat on fairly easy terrain. It also features short holes.

There are a few places where it's near water to add a slight challenge.

The park is popular for family reunions and so is the disc golf course.

Getting there: It's 11 miles northeast of Rupert off Idaho 24.


The course: The course is fairly new and one of the most challenging at any of the state parks.

This course could qualify for one of the challenges on "Survivor."

It's situated in a juniper, sagebrush area and features narrow fairways, elevation drops and rises and even has several holes that golfers will be throwing over ravines.

The slogan for the course is: "It ain't your momma's disc golf course."

It has a front nine and a back nine.

Getting there: Drive 201 miles east of Boise on Interstates 84 and 86. Driving time is about three and a half hours.


The course: There's a lot of variety when it comes to disc golf at Farragut on Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho.

Farragut has three 18-hole disc golf courses. The Wreckreator, Northstar and A.W.O.L. courses offer what some call "a world-class disc golfing experience."

It also has The Little Black Bear, a nine-hole short course that is a fun and entertaining course for beginners.

A large selection of golf discs can be found at the Farragut Gift Shop in case you forget your gear, or you want to try the sport while camping at the park.

Getting there: It might be best to make the trip from the Treasure Valley up U.S. 95 (or Idaho 55 and U.S. 95) in two days with a stop at Hells Gate State Park. It is reached off U.S. 95 at Athol. Go east on Idaho 54 for four miles.


The course: Sandy Point is known for its swimming area and beach, but you'll also be tossing a disc at the site below Lucky Peak Dam in the off-season.

State Parks is planning to open a nine-hole course at the popular area at the end of the Boise Greenbelt in the fall. It could be expanded to 12 holes if funding comes in.

It will be open seasonally from Oct. 1 to around May 1. (The park is wall-to-wall beach blankets in summer and flying discs wouldn't fit in.)

The holes won't involve great distances, but will have a lot of changes in terrain because of the park's rolling landscape.

The large number of trees and tight boundaries planned on some of the baskets will create a fairly challenging course, said Surat Nicol, assistant manager of Lucky Peak State Park.

Getting there: Drive northeast out of Boise on Idaho 21 about 10 miles to the Sandy Point unit of Lucky Peak State Park at the bottom of Lucky Peak Dam. It's near Discovery Park.


The original story can be found on the Idaho Statesman's website:

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