Bayview, Idaho the “Southern Gateway” to Lake Pend Oreille offers a friendly port for fishing, power boating, sailing, and relaxing. Once known for logging, fishing, and limestone-mining Bayview was originally named Squaw Bay. After 1900 the name was changed to Bayview. In 1910 a group of Spokane entrepreneurs formed the Prairie Development Company and platted the town site, hoping that the new town would attract tourist and residents. Bayview was laid out with 27 blocks of streets and avenues. The Spokane International Railway (SI) provided transportation from Spokane. Bayview still houses a small Navy base involved in acoustical and research attachment and model submarine units are currently used for research and development. About 200 float homes are located in Scenic Bay.
Bayview is located on the southwest shore of Lake Pend Oreille 7 miles (11 km) east-northeast of Athol. It is home to Farragut State Park, which occupies the location of the former Farragut Naval Training Station. The creation of Farragut State Park is an unintended result of a compact between Adolf Hitler and the Japanese Emperor Hirohito. The intent to invade the United States and divide its land between them led to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The U.S. response to this attack included the building of the Farragut Naval Training Station inland, along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, so that it would be protected from coastal invasion.
Named after the first Admiral of the Navy, David Glasgow Farragut, the station operated from 1942 to 1946 and had 293,381 men from across the nation train there. Carved from the remote forests of North Idaho, it became the largest city in Idaho with a population over 50,000. By the late 40’s the U.S. government put the land up for sale. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game bought parcels along the shoreline, and the remaining land was given to the State of Idaho as the Farragut Wildlife Management Area. A 20- acre parcel was retained for an acoustic research detachment, which is still in operation today for the U.S. Navy.
The park museum offers history about the park including its beginnings during WWII. The park is open all year & offers a well-developed system of paths for hiking, biking and equestrian with over 4,000 forested acres. Summer facilities include swimming, boating, fishing (the world-record kamloops (37 pounds) was caught in Lake Pend Oreille!), hiking, camping, and a shooting range. To get to Farragut, drive 95 North at Athol, turn east on Hwy 54 (Idaho’s shortest highway).
For a spectacular view of the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille, drive about a mile up the Cape Horn Road. It’s a great view of the community of Lakeview (a few miles across the lake) and the Coeur d’Alene, Cabinet, and Bitterroot Mountain ranges. You can also enjoy a beautiful view of Bayview and Farragut State Park.