News Release Archive

New Melones Lake Activities for Autumn 2015 Support the Let’s Move Outside Initiative

Media Contact: Shane Hunt, 916-978-5100,

For Release: October 06, 2015

SONORA, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation announces the fall 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.

Coyote Creek Kayaking Excursion
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, 10 a.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Coyote Creek inlet tells the historic story of the town of Melones. Join Ranger Hilary to discover some of these extraordinary places. We will launch from the Mark Twain Day Use Area and traverse across the lake and up Coyote Creek. 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 fitting 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. We will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 10 a.m.

Things That Go Bump In The Night!
Saturday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Halloween is only a week away, a time to discover “things that go bump in the night.” Join Park Ranger Mike for a special peek inside the Visitor Center and take a short journey down the Norwegian Gulch trail. Children of all ages are welcome. We will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather as things might be a bit “chilling.” A flashlight is required.

Creepy Crawlies of Natural Bridges
Sunday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.
Natural Bridges
Come out for a hike to discover some of the “scary” critters at New Melones Lake. Find out about their importance to our ecosystem and why they’re really not scary at all! We will bring along microscopes to examine some of the creepy crawlies we find along the way! This is a moderate-to-strenuous hike, 2 miles roundtrip; participants may return uphill on their own. Please bring water and snacks and wear shoes appropriate for hiking. We 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.

Duchess Mine Chaparral
Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m.
Parrotts Ferry Bridge Parking Area on Calaveras County Side
Where would you want to hike on a cool November morning? California’s distinctive Chaparral ecosystem is a great place to start! Hike through a “forest of shrubs” and learn about this fire- and drought-adapted plant community. This is a strenuous 3½ mile hike to a top section of the Table Mountain formation. Please bring water and wear sturdy hiking boots. We will meet at the parking lot on the Calaveras County side of the Parrotts Ferry Bridge at 10 a.m.

If This Rock Could Talk
Sunday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m.
Table Mountain
Join us on a hike though time and discover the geologic wonders of Table Mountain. Learn where this lava flow originated and the processes that occurred to create such a beautiful landmark. This is a challenging 3-mile hike with a ¼-mile series of steep, rocky switchbacks that leads to the top for grand views of New Melones Lake. We will meet at the corner of Shell and Rawhide Roads at 10 a.m.

The Stars Over New Melones Lake
Saturday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Come out and view fall’s constellations. We will set up telescopes for visitors to view the moon and all the stars. If it is overcast, we will have a PowerPoint presentation about the night sky. Please dress warmly and bring a flashlight.

Giving Thanks to Nature
Saturday, Nov. 28, 10 a.m.
Tuttletown Recreation Area
Work off some of those extra Thanksgiving calories with a hike around Heron Point trail in Tuttletown Recreation Area. Autumn is transitioning to winter and another calendar year is ending, but the rewards to be found in nature remain constant. Join us on this leisurely 3-mile hike around Heron Point and experience all that nature has to offer. We will meet at the Tuttletown Entrance Station at 10 a.m. and then caravan down to the Heron Point trailhead. Participants will be issued a parking pass for the duration of the event.

Mark Twain’s Trials, Tales and Trails
Sunday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m.
New Melones Visitor Center
Step back in time to experience Mark Twain’s past while we follow the Sierra Railroad’s tracks that traversed though the winding foothills from Angels Camp to Jamestown. This is an easy 2½-mile hike. We will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and then caravan to the Stevenot Bridge.

Melones Branch of the Sierra Railway
Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.
Peoria Wildlife Management Area
Traverse the historic route of the Melones Branch of the Sierra Railway and discover how the Melones Dam was built! This is a moderate 4-mile roundtrip hike. We will meet at the Peoria Wildlife Equestrian Staging Area on Peoria Flat Road at 10 a.m.

People of the Past
Sunday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m.
Glory Hole Recreation Area
New Melones Lake has been home to many different people over the centuries. Come and explore along the Angels Creek trail and find the evidence of People of the Past. This is a moderate 3-mile hike. We will meet at the Glory Hole Entrance Station at 10 a.m. and then caravan down to the Angels Creek trailhead. Participants will be issued a parking pass for the duration of the event.

French Flat Frisbee Golf
Saturday, Dec. 26, 10 a.m.
French Flat
Put down all those new electrical toys and come outside to explore your public lands with a fun game of Frisbee golf! Rangers will set a course filled with clues about the natural and cultural history of New Melones Lake. Hit the targets, gain the clues and answer the questions to win a prize! 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. We 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. 236 or email a minimum of 14 days in advance. Ranger-led hikes tie into the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative (, 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

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