Are you looking for an activity to keep the whole family happy for the day? A great way to enjoy the Highway 4 corridor is to visit some of our beautiful mountain lakes and paddle around in a kayak or canoe for the afternoon. If you’re a fisherman, there’s no better way to “sneak up on ‘em” than in a roomy one person kayak. If you’re a nature lover, load your camera gear into a pedal kayak where you can pedal around, hands free to take photos. You can even Sail the pedal kayaks if you really want to have some fun! A tandem kayak offers the opportunity to take your spouse out for a romantic tour of one of our beautiful high alpine, granite basin lakes. Got kids? Take a 16 ft. canoe, put lifejackets on the little adventurers, load ‘em up and show them a fun-filled water world. That’ll wear them out! There are endless options to the kind of fun you can have on a lake. If you never tried Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, this might be the summer to give it a shot. From day trips to overnight camping, kayaking and canoeing opens up miles of shoreline for you to explore.
Where to go? Of course New Melones Reservoir is the closest if you’re staying in Angels Camp. It is a 12,500 acre-lake with camping, day-use, hiking, biking, boating, wildlife viewing. 305 campsites and two areas for group camping reservable year round. Coin-op showers, no hook ups. Entrance gates are open from 4:00am to 11:00pm (Winter 9:00 p.m.), boat launch, day use, trails. interpretive programs. Visitor Center and Museum. Go Kayaking in the Stanislaus River...As you head up the hill on Highway 4, just outside of Arnold you can take a left on Blagen Road. In about one mile you’ll come upon White Pines Lake. It’s a small community lake that has the look and feel of On Golden Pond. Kid’s running around and playing in the lake, fisherman on shore and paddlers gliding by. It’s a great place to start if you’ve never been kayaking or canoeing before. It’s small but the water’s not too cold because it’s pretty shallow.
If you’re interested in exploring on a longer paddle, head up to Lake Alpine. It’s right on Highway 4 past the ski area, so you can’t miss it. The shoreline is accessible for hiking and lying out on the granite boulders and there’s a restaurant, store and bar nearby, in case you forgot anything.
For those wanting more of a wilderness experience, Utica and Union Reservoirs are a few miles off Spicer Reservoir Rd. just before Tamarack. Head out the winding road for seven miles and turn left at the sign. Another mile in on a dirt road and you can choose to go to Utica, which is beautiful for paddling or Union, which is also beautiful for paddling but has the addition being stocked for the fishermen in your family. Granite islands are a great place to stop for a picnic where breathtaking views of the Dardanelles can be seen. Paradise is just a paddle stroke away!
If you continue down Spicer Reservoir Road, you’ll end up at Spicer Reservoir, which is the largest reservoir on the Highway 4 corridor. If you are an experienced paddler, it’s a great place for a long paddle. It can get windy, so it’s recommended for strong paddlers.
Enjoy world-class California outdoor adventures including whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Stanislaus River in the heart of Stanislaus National Forest with Outdoor Adventure River Specialists www.oars.com. Join a guided California river rafting trip with experienced professional guides or independently plan your own private boating trip to Calaveras. You’ll be glad you did!
Equipment can be rented from Sierra Nevada Adventure Company http://snacattack.com/ or from Lake Alpine. More informtion on water sports in the county is available from