~An upside down River? Yes, that’s exactly what the historical land mark plaque spoke of as we stood looking over Carrville Pond and wondered why there were huge, I mean HUGE, piles of river rock at the top of Trinity Lake. As an aside, Carrville Pond is home to an annual fishing derby in May (kids only) hosted by the Trinity Lakes Lions and stocked by the California Fish and Game. Great way to get the kids interested in fishing!
This area was severely affected by the Gold rush. Efforts at Gold mining went the course from picks and pans to the use of hydraulic monitors and bucket line dredges. Well, those dredges are the result of these huge piles of rock. As we scouted out a place to paddle, we knew this was going to be one of them.
The gravel road on the right side of Hwy 3, is just before the Trinity River starts pouring into the lake. However, because of these huge rock piles, we were well protected from any current. And the launch was not too difficult, we just took our time driving down and off loading.
We were on the water by 9:30 and paddled around the rock piles gazing into the pristine water. No sign of fish, but there was this pair Buffleheads in my line of site.
Tori was a happy paddler in her Eddyline Fathom.
After we finished exploring the rock piles, we decided to venture upstream as far as we could go before the current became too swift. Well, I don’t know about you, but the view of the snow peaked mountains and the perfectly flat water sure put a smile on my face!
Time to turn around and paddle along the Western shoreline. There was minimal boat traffic, mostly due to the 5mph speed limit in this area. Some in the group spotted a Bald Eagle, but I didn’t seem him until we were on the other side of the lake.
After about 3.5 miles of paddling, our tummies were growling and I sure needed to stretch. We found a nice area to take out for lunch.
So, if you notice in the picture above, there are ripples from a light breeze. Well, after lunch and as we loaded back up to head across the lake, the breeze completely laid down. Wow! How often does this happen? Just look at the view too.
Nancy and Linda were sure enjoying the beautiful weather and flat water.
And, who’s this little fellow? My vote is Paulie, who is “quackers” for paddling.
As we made it to the other side of the lake, I spotted this pair of Common Mergansers. The male is black and white, while the female is rust and grey. I also snapped a shot of a Killdeer as he plucked bugs off the shoreline.
And, what would a paddle be if there wasn’t some sort of Tree Trunk Lake creature walking down the shore to dip his toes in the cool water.
This was my first time on Trinity Lake and I’ll definitely be back again. We took advantage of early morning launches and pre-Memorial Day weekend crowds and were not disappointed.
Trinity Center is only 4 hours from Sacramento, offers a beautiful KOA campground (with cabins too), a few stores, a gas station and a few diners to grab a bite. I didn’t want to camp so I rented a cute little 3 bedroom cabin (via VRBO) to share with a few ladies.
If you plan to visit, stop at the Visitor Center off 299 above Whiskeytown Lake and pick up a good map. You’ll want to know where the launch points are, as there are many, and many arms and fingers to explore here.