Water Trails

What is a Water Trail

Water trails are recreational waterways on a lake, river or ocean between specific locations, containing access points and day-use and/or camping sites for the boating public. Water trails emphasize low-impact use and promote stewardship of the resources, while providing healthy, outdoor activity.

The Konocti Regional Trails (KRT) group has created a series of seven draft Water Trail maps on Clear Lake. These include:

Water Trail 1: Rattlesnake Island - 4 mile loop
Water Trail 2: Tule Maze at Anderson Marsh - 6 mile loop
Water Trail 3: Cache Creek Dam - 10 miles roundtrip
Water Trail 4: Island Hopping in the Narrows - 8 mile loop
Water Trail 5: Volcanic Vents of Soda Bay - 6-9 miles round trip
Water Trail 6: Wetlands of Long Tule Point - 8-10 miles round trip
Water Trail 7: Rodman Slough - 8 miles roundtrip

Copies of the water trail maps can be found by selecting from the sidebar, or can be obtained at Lake County Visitor centers. See also our "Loop Guide to Best Paddling" at the bottom of this page. Explore these unique Lake County water trails!

A list of free public-access points on Clear Lake can be found in the sidebar under Water-Trails.

Paddling Safety Hints
Before starting a journey, boaters should become knowledgeable about local conditions such as currents, rapids, flow levels, weather, and hazards.
1. New or unfamiliar equipment should first be tested.
2. Leave word with a responsible person concerning your destination and when you will return.
3. Always make sure your craft is in good repair.
4. Have all gear either securely fastened within the craft or in waterproof containers that will float high and be easily retrievable.
5. Learn how to swim, how to apply first aid and CPR.
6. Paddlers are harder to see from other vessels. Keep paddling groups together. Avoid long lines.
7. Watch for and avoid hazards such as fallen trees, brush, fences, bridge abutments, or old pilings.
8. Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
9. All canoes and kayaks as well as inflatable rafts must carry a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person aboard.

Additional recommended equipment includes protective foot gear, such as tennis shoes, bailing device, boating maps, flashlight, compass, first-aid kit, boat-repair materials, knife, and a 50-100 foot throw rope.

Leave No Trace:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare.
2. Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
3. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, emergencies.
4. Respect Wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance.
5. Avoid disturbing wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young.
6. Leave What You Find . Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
7. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.

Respect the Privacy of Landowners
1. Always ask permission before entering private land. Unless posted, assume the land is private property.
2. Don’t litter.
3. Remember sound carries across water more clearly than on land. Avoid loud noises or boisterous behavior.

Reporting Water Pollution
If you see anything suspected to be a pollution or disturbance of the waterways, report it immediately by contacting the Lake County Sheriff’s Department at 707-263-2690; California Dept. of Fish & Game at 888-334-2258.

Cold Water Dangers

Capsizing or falling overboard into cold water can cause immediate health problems, ranging from disorientation and hyperventilation to heart attack. Cold water also quickly numbs hands and feet and saps overall strength. There are several ways in which to increase your chance of survival in cold water:
1.  Always wear a personal flotation device (life jacket).
2.  Get out of the water as fast as you can since you get colder faster in water than air.
3. Dress properly.