California's Inland Lakes:
Recreation and Relaxation Escapes
Yes, California is known for its beaches and world-famous settings. However, big attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland and SeaWorld hardly allow you to really get away from it all. Not so at Forever Resorts' lesser-known lake locations—all within an easy drive from Sacramento.
You may never have heard of Plumas National Forest, Lime Saddle, Sacramento River or San Joaquin River Valleys? Or, maybe these glorious places already seem like "home sweet home?" In any case, if you care to get away from it all to places that allow for quiet relaxation, rambunctious water sports, houseboating, hiking, bird watching, and extensive opportunities to visit cultural heritage sites, these are California "neighborhoods" you'll want to explore.
Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (SRA) is on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, down stream of the Feather River's main tributaries. Lake Oroville is a large meandering reservoir between Chico and Yuba City, due west of Reno. With its Mediterranean-type climate, the region enjoys all four seasons. It rarely snows but frost is to be expected in the winter. And, the Valley climbs to the low-100s in the summer, making the Lake's water temperature perfect for waterskiing and swimming. The area's primary native tribes were the Maidu (with settlements around Quincy) and the Washoe and Paiute. These tribes migrated to hunt and fish the abundant river valleys in the spring and summer. However, this all changed with the 1849 California Gold Rush and the flood of prospectors and settlers it spawned. It took awhile, but the Sierra Valley saw permanent settlements by 1852. Locals appreciate the lake for its beauty and "glass like" water, making it perfect for skiing and wakeboarding. Bassmaster Magazine ranked Lake Oroville as the "Best Bass Fishing Spot in California." And, hikers take advantage of beautiful jaunts to waterfalls and small pools. Visitors also enjoy touring two incredible historic homes in the Chico area: The Bidwell Mansion and the Stansbury Home, designed in the Italianate Victoria Style and considered to be one of the most original and unaltered Victorian homes in all of California. (If so, check tour times since days and hours vary by season.) In fact, the entire area is bursting with interesting points of interest for history and cultural buffs. Oroville's downtown has turned into a mural mecca featuring over 15 public murals. Plus, you can also find a cool mural at the Lake Oroville Visitors Center.
Lake Berryessa Recreation Area/Napa Valley. This California tourism mecca, of course, was put on the map long-ago by its wineries. But there's 165 miles of shoreline at nearby Lake Berryessa to be savored as well. It’s one California's largest bodies of fresh water providing fishermen a haven for cold and warm water fishing including rainbow trout, bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Needless to say, all things boating are popular year round. Rent a houseboat and explore secluded coves with access to wilderness hiking. Or try ski boats, pontoons, canoes and kayaks by the hour. For hearty hikers the recently designated Cedar Roughs Wilderness Area is perfect. Just 2 miles from Pope Creek Bridge, trails abound—although none of them are maintained so be prepared. Sargent's Cypress trees cover 3,000 acres (nearly half) of this backcountry, which makes trailblazing challenging. Bird watching is another popular activity, especially in the spring.
Stanislaus National Forest. John Muir and Ansel Adams loved this part of the United States for obvious reasons. Don Pedro Lake, the 5th largest man-made lake in California, was formed by the construction of Don Pedro Dam across the Tuolumne River. Situated in a canyon carved by the famous river, the Lake is surrounded by the oak-covered foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is an idyllic location for a day trip, camping excursion, or a weeklong family vacation aboard a luxury houseboat. Named after Don Pedro Bar, a famous gold mining town—which was named, ironically, after a Frenchman. Don Pedro Lake is a popular spot, especially for fisherman aspiring to catch "big fish." Families can picnic and play at Fleming Meadows and Moccasin Point or swim at a wonderful sandy beach at the lagoon at Fleming Meadows.
Winter, spring, summer or fall California's inland lakes provide welcomed diversions from crowded, noisy cities and grueling jobs. They're places to reconnect with family, friends and Mother Nature; they’re places to discover!
What's to DISCOVER?
Just for the fun of it, each month Discover Forever will feature a quiz related to Forever Resorts' destinations and/or properties. All entries with the correct answers will be collected and identified as finalists each month. Then, on December 31, 2010 one finalist will be selected at random to win a Canon PowerShot A3100 IS Digital Camera and Canon SELPHY CP780 Compact Photo Printer.
You have two weeks from the time DISCOVER FOREVER is sent to cast your vote. No purchase is necessary to enter. Good luck. Hint: Answers can be found at www.Travel-Forever.com and/or www.ForeverResorts.com.
The State of California requires anglers to have a fishing license in order to engage the sport. Those who go fishing frequently more than likely purchase an annual license. However, those on shorter fishing trips can buy one-day, two-day or ten-day licenses. In California, the "occasional fisherman" who is 16 yrs. of age or older can by a "two-consecutive day" fishing license for less than:
Answer to October's quiz:
Just in time for Halloween, which bat are you LEAST likely to see while visiting the Big Bend area because it is endangered and only visits seasonally? Click here to find the answer.