Merced County Times Newspaper
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RV and trailer camping resumes for nearby local residents at Lakes McClure and McSwain 

Access is permitted only to those considered to be nearby, local residents


(Merced Irrigation District press release)

Camping will resume at all Lakes McClure and McSwain recreation areas for nearby, local residents beginning on Thursday May 7.

This will include Bagby and Horseshoe Bend recreation areas.

For the time being, the openings will remain limited to those considered to be nearby, local residents.

The re-opening marks the latest step in efforts to restore recreation at Lakes McClure and McSwain. Access to the reservoirs was suspended in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic under state health orders.

As with other recreation areas open at this time, Bagby and Horseshoe Bend can be accessed for camping, boating, shore fishing, biking and hiking from dawn to dusk daily.

Until further notice, access is permitted only to those considered to be nearby, local residents:

  •   Those from Mariposa County.
  •   Those within 10 miles of the park as well as residents around Coulterville and La Grange.
  •   Those from the Eastern Merced County communities of Snelling, Planada, Le Grand, Merced, Atwater, Winton, Cressey and Livingston.
  • Under the current opening, camping will only be allowed for those in RVs, motorhomes or travel trailers that have a self-contained restroom. No tent camping will be allowed at this time. No park model camping will be allowed at this time. Full refunds will be automatically processed for those impacted by COVID-19 within 30 days.
    Beginning on Thursday, May 7, reservations can be made online or calling 1-855-800-2267 (CAMP). They are not required.

Local residents visiting the parks are expected to be responsible with social distancing – maintaining six feet at all times and no gatherings of groups of more than 10 people. Boat mingling or close interaction between boats is strictly prohibited. Only one person at a time will be permitted in parks restrooms. 

Those who intend to visit are expected to bring their own soap and hand sanitizer. For day use, the fee per car is $8. Boat trailers cost an additional $7.

Parks visitors should be prepared to show state-issued identification for proof of residency.

Those considered to be local, nearby residents intending to access their houseboat may do so overnight with immediate members of their family: those with whom they have been staying at home together under state orders. For those not from the defined local area but needing access to their houseboat, they will continue to have access on Saturdays for essential maintenance and security checks, during the prior available times of 10 am – 4 pm.

Enforcement of boating safety is being monitored by MID and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit.

Lakes McClure and McSwain are located within Mariposa County. MID has been continuing to coordinate park operations with county health officials and operating under state guidelines intended to minimize non-essential travel. County health departments are tasked with interpreting and implementing emergency health orders originating with the Governor of California.

In early March, all facilities were closed in response to the coronavirus state of emergency declared in California. Since that time, MID has continually monitored orders, directives and recommendations from state and local health officials with an intent to restore recreation as quickly as possible, while protecting public and employee health.

Those who have questions about COVID as it relates to recreation activities in Mariposa County can call the Coronavirus hotline at 209-259-1332 or email [email protected]

For more information specific to MID facilities, please click here or visit

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