Lake Oroville State Recreation Area's Thermalito Diversion Pool Open for Memorial Day


LAKE OROVILLE, Calif.—California State Parks and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced the Thermalito Diversion Pool and trails along its northern shore at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area will be open to the public for Memorial Day weekend, from Friday through Monday, 8 a.m. to sunset.

The Thermalito Diversion Pool is located on the Feather River, about 4.5 miles downstream from Oroville Dam within Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. After Memorial Day, this portion of the park will be closed again to resume construction operations on Burma Road. 

Fishermen, hikers and bicyclists will have access to 3.25 miles of the Brad Freeman Trail. Kayakers are also welcome to launch kayaks in the Diversion Pool and enjoy about 3 miles of recreation access. State Parks staff and volunteers will be leading a hike on Saturday, May 26, starting at 9 a.m. Interested hikers must sign up prior to the hike either in person at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, or they can call (530) 538-2219.

“This will be a great opportunity for hikers, bikers, fishermen and kayakers to enjoy this beautiful stretch of waterway on one of the most popular weekends for recreation at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area,” said Lisa Mangat, California State Parks Director.

DWR will modify operations of construction vehicles to allow for public access over the long weekend. Not only will the public be able to use the Diversion Pool and the Brad Freeman Trail, they will also get a safe and up-close view of ongoing construction at the Lake Oroville spillways.

“We know how important this recreation area is to the Oroville community and others that visit from out of town, and we’re happy that we were able to collaborate with State Parks on this opportunity,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.

Below is other important information on the temporary reopening of Thermalito Diversion Pool:

  • Closures: Due to anticipated crowds, access to the area will be located off Thompson Flat Cemetery Road. The traditional entrance off Cherokee Road will be closed this weekend.
  • Parking & Restrooms: Parking is limited. Restrooms will be available at the parking lot, at the end of the trail and at the existing facilities on Burma Road.
  • Equestrians: Horses are not allowed on this portion of the Brad Freeman Trail. It is a bicycle and hiking trail only.
  • Trailers: Park officials are prohibiting trailers from entering the area.
  • Digging Activities: All park features are protected. Gold panning, metal detectors, and tools used for digging are prohibited.

Lastly, visitors are encouraged to recreate safely and responsibly at Lake Oroville. Below are some tips:

  • Check the weather and bring appropriate clothing to fit the season. Summers at Lake Oroville are warm to extremely warm.
  • Know your personal limitations.
  • Obey park rules, such as parking in designated areas and not entering closed areas.
  • Wear a life jacket when recreating in or near a water.
  • Actively supervise children at all times, especially around the water.
  • When hiking, make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. Stay on designated trails.
  • View wildlife from a distance. Never feed or touch wildlife.

DWR reminds the public that construction will be occurring and they may hear machinery, blasting or other noises from the construction area and should not be alarmed. Invent your adventure at Lake Oroville by visiting



Erin Mellon, Assistant Director, Department of Water Resources, Public Affairs

(916) 704-5529

Aaron Wright, California State Parks

(530) 532-3085