Reclamation Announces Spring 2014 Park Events and Ranger Interpretive Programs at Lake Berryessa

Media Contact: Margaret Gidding, 916-978-5100

For Release: March 12, 2014

NAPA, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office announces spring 2014 park events and Park Ranger interpretive programs at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif. All activities will be held rain or shine and are free of charge. Some programs have group-size limitations, so please contact the Park Ranger office regarding availability. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather and bring water and sunscreen for daytime activities. Children are welcome, but those under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Spring Nature Hikes
Saturday, March 22; Saturday, April 12; and Saturday, May 3; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet at Smittle Creek Day Use Parking Lot
Join a Park Ranger for a leisurely hike on the Smittle Creek Trail along the western shoreline of the lake. Enjoy wildflowers and get some fresh air and exercise while learning about the natural and human history of the area on an easy-to-moderate 2.6 mile, one-way guided hike. The trail travels through a shaded Blue Oak woodland, affording hikers scenic views and peaceful surroundings. Meet at the south end of the Smittle Creek Day Use Area parking lot, off of Berryessa-Knoxville Road. Vehicles can be shuttled for those wanting to hike one way. Hikers may stay with the Ranger for the entire 3-hour hike or leave early if they choose. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the lake. For details and directions, please contact Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111, ext. 112 or

Photography Excursion!
Sunday, March 23, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meet at Dufer Point Visitor Center, 5520 Knoxville Road
Join Park Ranger Alicia on a 4-hour tour of choice spots for landscape and nature photography around Lake Berryessa. We’ll start at the visitor center, caravan around the lake and stop at six sites on the west and north end of the lake, including Smittle Creek Day Use Area, Pope Creek area, North End Trail, Eticuera Day Use Area and the East Side Road. We’ll see breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding oak woodlands. Photographs taken during this excursion will have a chance to be displayed on our website! Novice-to-experienced photographers are welcome. Please bring a camera, sack lunch and water. We will walk no more than 2 miles total. For information and directions, please contact Alicia Palmer at 707-966-2111 ext. 111 or

Berryessa Spring Bird Species Inventory
Sunday, May 4, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet at Monticello Dam Overlook
Get a little exercise, learn some local history and tally Berryessa’s bird species all at the same time! Join Park Ranger and bird enthusiast Todd Eggert and visit Lake Berryessa’s three dominant vegetation communities – oak woodland, chaparral and grasslands – to inventory the resident and migrant bird species. Participants will caravan or carpool the length of the lake, stopping for short walks. Experienced and beginning birders are welcome, with Ranger Todd assisting novices on the finer points of bird identification. For directions and to RSVP, please contact Todd Eggert at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 or

World Environment Day
Sunday, June 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet near Markley Cove Resort, past Monticello Dam
Join Reclamation and the Lake Berryessa Watershed Partnership for a fun lakeshore clean up event. Volunteers will walk trails and shoreline helping to clean up trash and debris at the south end of the lake. This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours while spending the afternoon in a beautiful outdoor setting! Food and drinks will be provided. To participate, please contact Jason Jordan at 707-966-2111, ext. 143 or Pre-registration is required for lunch.

Paddle With A Park Ranger
Experience Lake Berryessa from a unique perspective during these Ranger-led paddling tours. Each tour offers a different experience as participants launch from various areas around the lake. Events occur rain or shine, but high winds could cause an event to be cancelled. Paddling outings are open to experienced swimmers with a kayak, canoe or other non-motorized boat. Coast Guard-approved life jackets will be available, but boats are not available for rent. Participants should bring their boat, life jacket, paddle, sunscreen, hat, water, clothing layers depending on the weather and a lunch/snack. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Changes to locations and times may occur because of fluctuating water levels. For details, directions and to RSVP, please contact Victoria Payan at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 or
Listed below are the four spring 2014 paddling tours along with date/time and specific meeting location.

  • Island Exploration - Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meet at Foxtail Flat in Oak Shores. Trailers are not permitted inside the park.

  • Easter Sunday Expedition - Sunday, April 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meet at the Pope Creek Bridge. There is a short, somewhat steep path to the put-in.

  • Capell Cove Cruise - Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m. to Noon.

Meet at the Capell Cove Public Boat Launch.

  • Full Moon Friday - Friday, June 13, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Meet at the western launch ramp at Putah Canyon Recreation Area. A working flashlight and a whistle are required for each participant.

Lake Berryessa also offers the following programs and activities:

Lake Berryessa Water Education Program
Available by Appointment
Oak Shores Day Use Area
The Lake Berryessa Water Education Program is an interdisciplinary learning experience for students in grades 4-6. The program integrates the natural resources of Lake Berryessa with California curriculum standards. Classes join a Park Ranger at the lake to learn about the importance of water in their lives. In addition to the onsite learning experience, a teacher packet is available with logistical information and pre- and post-site activities. Berryessa Rangers are available to conduct pre-field trip classroom visits. For more details on this free program, please contact Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111, ext. 112 or

Displays and Exhibits
Starting on May 18: Weekends 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Weekdays Noon-2 p.m., closed Wednesdays
Lake Berryessa Visitor Center
The Lake Berryessa Visitor Center offers displays and exhibits on the history of Lake Berryessa, the Monticello Valley and the construction of the Solano Project. It also houses an exhibit of local wildlife (stuffed and mounted) showing the common and not-so-common animals found around the lake. Park Rangers are available to answer questions about natural resources, recreational opportunities, wildlife and the area’s history. Brochures, maps, trail guides and other educational information are available free of charge.

Interpretive programs and events at Lake Berryessa tie into President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative ( which seeks to empower Americans to share in the responsibility to conserve, restore and provide better access to our lands and waters and leave a healthy and vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. Ranger-led hikes and activities also support the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative ( which encourages children and their families to enjoy outdoor activities that abound in every city, town and community. And where better for the public to appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors than at a Reclamation facility like Lake Berryessa?

If you would like to participate in a program and need accommodation, please contact the Lake Berryessa Park Ranger Office at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 at least 14 days in advance.

Please visit the Lake Berryessa website at for additional information.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.