Merced County Times Newspaper
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UPDATE: Access to Lakes McClure and McSwain now includes Turlock, Denair, Hughson, Hickman, Waterford, Oakdale


(Merced Irrigation District update)

Under current coronavirus health orders, the definition of local residency for access to Lakes McClure and McSwain been expanded to include Turlock, Denair, Hughson, Hickman, Waterford and Oakdale. Boating is now allowed, as is camping for those with RVs, motorhomes and trailers having self-contained restrooms. Bagby and Horseshoe Bend Recreation areas also opened this week.

Access to the reservoirs was suspended in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic under state health orders.

In addition to those communities recognized today, other nearby, local residents are considered to be the following:

 Those from Mariposa County.
 Those within 10 miles of the lakes 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, Ballico 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 whose reservations are impacted by COVID-19 within 30 days.

Beginning on Thursday, May 7, reservations can be made online through 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. For complete information about camping and other rates, please click here.

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 visit


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