SONORA – The Bureau of Reclamation announces the spring interpretive programs at New Melones Lake. All activities are free and suitable for all ages; most do not require reservations. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. A water bottle and sunscreen are recommended. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Wildflowers of the Mother Lode
Sunday, April 10, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Angels Creek Trail, Glory Hole Recreation Area
Come out and take pleasure in a springtime hike while learning how to identify some of the wildflowers that blanket the Mother Lode this time of year. This is a moderate 2.5-mile hike along the Angels Creek trail. We will meet at the Glory Hole Entrance Station at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and then caravan down to the Angels Creek trailhead. Participants will receive a parking pass for the duration of the event. Due to the popularity of this hike, space is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at (209) 536-9094 x221to reserve your spot on this free interpretive event. Theywill be leading a hike at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in hopes of accommodating everyone.
Mushrooms of the Mother Lode
Saturday April 16, 10 a.m.
Join Ranger Hilary in discovering some of the fungi around us. Learn about their importance, identification, habitats, life cycles and dangers. Search for fungi along this easy 1-mile trail that leads to the base of Table Mountain. Participants will have the option of returning on their own or participating in a strenuous climb to the top of Table Mountain to enjoy the grand views of New Melones Lake. They will meet at the corner of Rawhide Road and Shell Road at 10 a.m.
Coyote Creek Kayaking Excursion
Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Coyote Creek inlet tells a historic story of the Mother Lode. Join Ranger Hilary to discover some of these formations as we traverse up Coyote Creek. We will launch from the Mark Twain Day Use Area, traverse across the lake and up Coyote Creek. This will be a strenuous paddling tour. Expect to be out on the water for 4 hours. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitted and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water and lunch. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 221 to reserve your place at this event. They will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 10 a.m.
2nd Annual Me-Wuk Heritage Day!
Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Please join us for our second annual Heritage Day! It is a celebration of the Me-Wuk culture. There will be a blessing at 9:30 a.m. and traditional dancing at 10 a.m. They will have booths set up with demonstrations of Bead work, jewelry making, basketry, flint napping, native plants, acorn preparation and storytelling! There is something for everyone.
A Bug’s Life!
Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m.
Do bugs suck – maybe? Are all insects’ bugs or are all bugs insects? What’s a nymph? Can Mayflies tell us how good the water is? Join Ranger Mike on a trek down to Natural Bridges to learn the answers to these mysterious questions and why aquatic invertebrates are important to the environment. We will have magnifiers and collecting material on had so that you can get a close up look at Coyote Creek’s critters! This is a moderate to strenuous, 2-mile, roundtrip hike. Participants may return uphill on their own. Please bring water, snacks, and wear shoes appropriate for hiking. They will meet at the Natural Bridges Trailhead parking lot off of Parrotts Ferry Road at 10 a.m. Dogs are not allowed on the Natural Bridges trail.
Capture Composition in 10 ways
Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m.
Peoria Wildlife Management Area
You don’t need expensive or fancy equipment to take meaningful photographs: composition before you click is the true key to success! Bring your camera or cell phone and get some pointers on pictures! This will be a moderate 4-mile hike along the Melones Branch of the Sierra Railway. They will meet at the equestrian staging area in Peoria Wildlife Management Area off of New Peoria Flat Road and New Melones Dam Road at 10 a.m.
Horseshoe Bend Kayaking Excursion!
Sunday, May 15, 10 a.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Experience the beauty of New Melones from a unique perspective on this ranger-led paddling tour. Launching from Mark Twain Day Use Area, we will paddle up the Stanislaus River to the Parrotts Ferry pullout. Along the way we will discuss the flora, fauna, geological formations and cultural history of the area. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Expect to be out for 4 hours. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitted and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water and lunch. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext: 221 to reserve your place at this event. They will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 10 a.m.
Dangerous Desperados Frisbee Golf
Sunday, May 22, 10 a.m.
Learn about some of the men and women from the Wild West while playing a great game of Frisbee Golf! This will be a 9-hole course set in the rambling oak woodlands of French Flat. Participants will be walking through tall grass, so long pants are recommended. Please bring your own Frisbee if you have one. They will meet at the corner of Shell and Rawhide Roads at 10 a.m. and caravan to French Flat for a great game of golf.
If you would like to participate in a program and need accommodation, please contact Park Ranger Hilary Maxworthy at 209-536-9094 ext. 221 or email email@example.com a minimum of 14 days in advance.
Ranger-led hikes tie into the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative (www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside), which was created to encourage children and their families to enjoy outdoor activities, which abound in every city, town and community. And where better for the public to enjoy the great outdoors than at a Reclamation facility like New Melones?
The New Melones Visitor Center and Museum is managed by Reclamation’s Central California Area Office and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information on activities, directions, pet restrictions or other questions, please call 209-536-9543 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit the New Melones Lake website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones/index.html.