Oroville’s Thermalito Diversion Pool and Brad Freeman Trail Reopening to Public Tomorrow, Friday, May 3rd. at 8:00am.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and California State Parks today announced that the Thermalito Diversion Pool Day Use Area, located along Burma Road, will reopen to the public on Friday, May 3. This will also provide access to a two-mile section of the Brad Freeman Trail along the north shore of the Diversion Pool. Access to these sections of the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area will be available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

“We’re thrilled to reopen access to these recreation areas to explore Oroville’s natural beauty,” said DWR’s Oroville Field Division’s Licensing Compliance Branch Chief Eric See. “Today’s announcement is part of a larger plan this year to fulfill DWR’s commitment to restore public access to all of the recreation areas impacted by the reconstruction of the Oroville spillways.”

The Thermalito Diversion Pool and adjacent Brad Freeman Trail are popular recreation areas for kayaking, mountain biking and hiking. Kayakers will be able to park and launch at the car top boat launch on Burma Road, while bikers and hikers have access to two miles of the Brad Freeman Trail. Public access to portions of the Brad Freeman Trail will remain closed until construction activities near the spillway are completed later this year. Refer to the Oroville Recreation Closures map for current information. Fencing and closure signage will be installed to ensure public safety. The portion of the Brad Freeman Trail and Dan Beebe Trail on the southern side of the Diversion Pool were reopened to the public last year. 

“Just in time for the busy season, outdoor enthusiasts will be able to enjoy this popular stretch of waterway and trail at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area,” said Matt Teague, California State Parks acting Northern Buttes District Superintendent. “We thank the public for your patience during the past two years as we worked to restore access.”

The Diversion Pool and Brad Freeman Trail may be subject to temporary closure because of ongoing construction this spring and summer for public safety. DWR will notify the public before any temporary closures. Additionally, the reopened areas of the Diversion Pool and Brad Freeman Trail may remain open if DWR uses the main spillway again this year. DWR and State Parks urge the public to use these areas with extra caution when the main spillway is being used.

This summer, DWR plans to open additional recreation areas impacted by the Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project. DWR contractors began repaving operations on the Oroville Dam Crest Road, the Spillway Boat Launch facility, and other area roadways last week. DWR remains committed to reopening access to the Dam Crest Road and Spillway Boat Launch this year and will announce reopening dates later this spring.

Visitors are encouraged to recreate safely and responsibly at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. 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.


Invent your adventure at Lake Oroville by visiting www.parks.ca.gov/LakeOroville.




For more information, follow DWR on Twitter or Facebook and read our news releases and DWR updates.


Receive DWR’s Lake Oroville Community Update by emailing your request to oroville@water.ca.gov.


Subscribe to California State Parks News online at www.parks.ca.gov/news or email us at newsroom@parks.ca.gov.

California State Parks
 provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Learn more atwww.parks.ca.gov.


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