Cultus Lake visitors enjoy getting back on the water

Boat launch, day use area reopened Friday

Cultus Lake reopens boat launch

CULTUS LAKE, Ore. - Cultus Lake visitors are wasting no time getting back in the water.

“We were hoping to be first on the lake, but looks like we’re going to be second,” Tom Towell said Friday.

Both the boat launch and day-use area reopened at noon, and Towell, his mom and childhood friend were among the first to cast off.

The Cultus Lake campground closed in June after more than 500 trees were identified as hazardous and at risk of falling.

“Mostly those hazards are caused by two fungi,” Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger Kevin Larkin said. “One, called Indian paint, rots the trees from the inside out, and another, root rot, that rots out the roots of the tree.”

The boat launch followed suit, closing July 5.

“There’s still work going on in there, and we caution folks to please stay out of those areas that are adjacent to the boat launch,” Larkin said. “There’s heavy equipment still operating and whole trees being hauled around, so it’s still a very dangerous area.”

But Towell’s group is just happy to be back on the lake.

“We’ve been coming here since the '50s, and my late husband and I camped up here every single weekend,” said Towell’s mother, Brenda Chapin. “Our kids grew up here. To me, this is a little slice of heaven.”

In addition to the boat launch and day-use area, all boat-in campsites are also are now open.

The Forest Service does not know the exact date when the campground will reopen, but expects it to be later this summer. They’ll notify the public before it does.

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