Fort Funston on the coast of

Loch Lomond Recreation area

Loch Lomond is a freshwater lake-surrounded by high redwood hills—a uncommon occasion since the redwood ecosystem of the Coast Range isn't characterized by standing systems of water. This 175-acre pond is, needless to say, a reservoir, one which can certainly make even a wilderness buff love a dam.

ESSENTIAL NOTE: The Loch Lomond playground is currently closed for the 2014 season due to the drought.

The pond is shut to swimming, that will be kinda sad for people but most likely good-for the citizens of Santa Cruz, who count on it for drinking water. Aluminum rowboats, some with little to no battery-powered kicker motors ($10/hr), also sweet two-seater pedal-paddleboats ($5/hr.; $35/day), are for sale to lease. And there's a storage lot for watersport enthusiasts who would like to store a kayak or canoe on site ($200/season). To guard against unpleasant species including the nasty Eurasian dreissenid mussel, establishing a personal boat is forbidden if you do not shop it onsite. The pond, which will be almost never crowded, is big enough to give you a genuinely satisfying sailing experience. On a still day, lake-paddling is exhilarating, and when the wind is up, cruising along the shoreline offers close-up activities with multiple ducks, kingfishers along with other water-loving wild birds, while slowly negotiating greater coves is an extraordinarily peace-inducing workout. Choose beautiful mountain azaleas into the brush near the lake’s north shore.

Loch Lomond is also stocked with rainbow trout, while bluegill, green sunfish, catfish, and carp gather in twelve questionable coves. The small playground shop features a modest choice of worms, bait and lures, as well as beverages, snacks and tchotchkes.

Three huge picnic areas, ideal for big functions, lie only from the roadway leading down to the reservoir. The wee area of Clar Innis, a crescent of cuteness in the middle of the pond, has actually a picnic dining table that's calling your name.

IDEAL FOR fishing, sailing, paddling, team picnics.

NOT REALLY MUCH FOR cycling. Heartbreaking but true. The residents of Santa Cruz thank-you for obeying the guidelines.

LUXURIES INCLUDE Restrooms with flush toilets, a tiny store with a few products and treats, paddleboat rentals and lots of picnicking places.

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