A group of 66 kids and adults from Boise were ripping down the Activity Barn tubing lanes behind her as manager Michele Cretser summed up the experience she hopes to offer.
“It’s a super good time,” she said. “This is the Disneyland of McCall.”
The Activity Barn, which opened in the winter of 1999-2000 on the southern outskirts of town, received a new conditional use permit from Valley County going into this winter season. The permit allows for new amenities for the winter operation — including expanded food-and-beverage service and a 5-kilometer trail system — and a first-ever summer operation in 2017.
“It’s turned into a really fun venue for kids and families,” said Bob Looper, the president of Brundage Mountain Resort. “And we want to do the same thing in the summer.”
The winter experience revolves around the tubing hill, which provides up to six wide, 800-foot lanes that allow for some crazy combinations of tubers. Even on one of the coldest nights of the year, kids shrieked with delight and raced to get back on the 600-foot magic carpet for the ride to the top.
“It was amazing,” first-time tuber Mylee Evans said.
The venue has dropped the ski and snowboard area this year — “We really want to focus on tubing. That’s who we are,” Cretser said — but added a free trail for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking. The 5-kilometer trail connects to the North Valley Rail Trail.
Possible additions this summer include a 50-foot-by-100-foot pole barn to provide a permanent structure — food and beverage operates in a heated tent this winter — and a ropes course.
Family-friendly bike trails likely will be added this year, too. Those would be free, like the winter trail. The Activity Barn sits on 1,500 acres.
“It’s surrounded by private, beautiful ground,” Looper said. “That opens up some nice flow trails — easier, family-friendly flow trails.”
Brundage, which operates the Activity Barn, plans to add activities over the next five to 10 years. Possible features include a zipline park and climbing wall, summer tubing and ice skating.
If you go
The Activity Barn (activitybarn.com) is on the south end of McCall. From Boise, turn left on Deinhard Lane just after entering city limits, turn left on Mission, continue 1.6 miles and turn right on Moonridge. Regular hours are 4-8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Additional open dates are offered for holidays, spring break and Winter Carnival (open daily Friday through Feb. 5). Tickets for two hours are $18 holidays and peak days and $15 non-peak. One-time rides are $5.