On April 29, Calaveras County Public Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita amended his March 27 order to loosen some restrictions on outdoor recreation.
The order, put in place to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, now allows walking; hiking; bicycling on roads, paths, parks and greenbelt areas; all-terrain-vehicle riding; hunting and fishing; private boating; horseback riding; golf; and disc golf.
That’s all based on the caveat that residents continue to practice social distancing when engaging in these activities. In public areas, groups of no more than four individuals who share the same household must observe six feet of distance at all times. Generally, no congregating is allowed.
The following is a list compiled, in part, by Kathy Gallino, economic and community development director with the county, of popular outdoor areas with closure statuses in and around Calaveras County.
Big Bar Road
In Amador County, on the Mokelumne River, Big Bar Road is closed.
Bureau of Land Management land
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has temporarily closed all developed campgrounds and developed recreation sites in California.
According to Gallino, popular recreation areas on BLM land off of French Flat Road and Camp Nine Road are not part of this closure order. Restrooms are closed and wrapped with tape, and staff are patrolling and educating people about social distancing, Gallino said.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Visitors are only allowed to walk, hike or bike into the park. The parking lot is closed.
City of Angels parks
All City parks are open, including Utica, Tryon and Gateway, but park benches and playground equipment are off-limits, according to Melissa Eads, city administrator. Eads asked that residents respect signage regarding social distancing measures around all public facilities.
Feeney Park in Murphys
Disc Golf and outdoor exercise is available strictly for county residents, with portable disc baskets and non-household members observing social distancing of six feet apart.
All Golf Clubs are open for resident play, according to Gallino.
Lake Camanche and Lake Pardee
Lake Camanche South Shore Recreation Area is open for day use, but only for Calaveras County residents. The lake’s North Shore Recreation Area is only open for Amador County residents. Lake Pardee is also only open for Amador County residents. Fishing, day use and personal boating are allowed, but the cafe, marina and boat rentals are closed, along with a popular fishing spot called the “Woodpile,” Mo Souza, gate manager, told the Enterprise Tuesday.
In Tuolumne County, the boat launch at Lake Tulloch is open, but the campground, bathrooms and showers are closed, according to Lake Tulloch Marina website. Parking is $10, to be paid via envelope into the iron ranger at the entrance to the parking lot.
Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail
East Bay Municipal Utility District Trails (EBMUD) in Calaveras County are open to Calaveras County residents only. That includes the Campo Seco Staging Area, Cooks Mesa, Rich Gulch, and Middle Bar Trailheads, which all link to the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. Staff is onsite to verify proof of residency and possession of an EBMUD Trail Use Permit, which costs $3, according to EBMUD’s website. Visitors are encouraged to walk exclusively with members of their household at a six-foot distance, leave their dogs at home, use the restroom beforehand and to not litter or stray from trails.
The Upper Natural Bridges Trail near Vallecito is closed due to COVID-19, according to AllTrails, a website and App that includes updates and information on hiking trails around the world.
New Hogan Lake
The lake is closed as per the Army Corps of Engineers. There’s no tentative opening date at the moment, but staff are awaiting new guidelines to be issued by the governor on Tuesday to help determine the timeframe for reopening, Matthew Kelly, operation and project manager told the Enterprise Tuesday.
New Melones Reservoir
Kayaking and boat launch on New Melones is open to the public, but the campgrounds and day use areas are closed until further notice, according to a May 9 New Melones Lake Marina Facebook post.
The marina store will be open for the summer May 15, offering fuel, food, drinks, ice and Marina apparel.
Stanislaus National Forest
Although most lower-elevation roads are open, all developed recreational day use areas and campgrounds within the Stanislaus National Forest are closed until May 15. Forest Service officials are asking visitors to practice social distancing measures. All public restrooms are closed, and there are no garbage facilities, so visitors will have to pack out whatever they bring.
Lower-elevation roads, including Black Springs Road and East White Pines Interface/Arnold Rim Trail
Candy Rock Trailhead, located on the banks of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River south of Dorrington
Boards Crossing Campground, including its Off-Highway-Vehicle (OHV) area.
All upper elevation roads and lakes
Sourgrass Day Use Area, (OHV trail is open)
To see the high-elevation roads on Calaveras and Summit Ranger districts that remain under seasonal closure through June 30, 2020, check Forest Order STF-16-2020-04.
Violating the order could result in fining and/or jail time.
White Pines Park
The park is open, but playground equipment and play structures remain off limits at this time, according to an April 29 Calaveras County Water District press release.