Horseshoe Lake was originally a 33 acre natural lake. In the early 1890's it was drained with a 600 foot tunnel to raise hay for the horses of 3 brothers doing mining in the area. They had been referred to as "The 3 Greeks".
In 1929, the lake was purchased by Athol Playfair. A structure was built to refill the lake. From 1929 to 1969 he operated a fish hatchery and raised fry to sell to the fish and game department for planting surrounding lakes. He also sold fish to the people living in Chewelah and surrounding area.
In 1969, the lake was sold to 3 investors on the west coast, who did not look after the dam structure and tunnel. In 1973, the tunnel and structure plugged up and failed.
I (Mike Matney) purchased the property in the early 1990's. It took 11 years in the permit process to rebuild the lake. Then in 2001 the lake was rebuilt with the goal to create a sport fishery. A lot of effort was made for fish structure and habitat, and the same for the insects and natural feed. At an elevation of 3400 feet, it is generally 10 degrees cooler than the valley. It is the end of the road access, 3 sided by national forest.
Horseshoe Lake now provides an extraordinary quiet peaceful escape for family and friends with some of the best fishing in the lower 48. The lake is managed for large Cantaloupe Rainbow, Eastern Brook and some Tiger Trout. The lake and facilities are rented out to one group at a time to make for the best experience possible.