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Getting on the San Joaquin River

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Getting on the San Joaquin River

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POSTED April 6, 2012 8:09 p.m.

LATHROP – At more than 350 miles long, the San Joaquin River, from its source in the Ansel Adams Wilderness to its mouth in the Suisun Bay, covers a large portion of the Central Valley.

And it provides a whole lot of recreational opportunities for fishermen, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts looking to take advantage of the south-north flowing river and the year-round access that local residents enjoy.

With the warm spring and summer months just around the corner, access to the San Joaquin River – a major part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta – is available in a variety of locations.

Whether it’s an aluminum fishing boat or a fleet of fully-outfitted ski crafts ready to take the Delta by storm, spending a day out on the water doesn’t have to mean loading up for a trip to the foothills.

Here are a few places where you can launch your boat and start a day of fun in the sun with few hassles:

Mossdale Crossing Regional Park in Lathrop – In the shadow of the hulking train bridge which gives the park its name is this hidden gem. Mossdale Crossing is famous for being the last segment of first Transcontinental railroad constructed. A shaded park complete with picnic tables and barbecues complements the two-lane boat ramp and floating dock that is popular with fisherman looking to access the San Joaquin, Middle and Old Rivers. Maintained by the County of San Joaquin, the park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and parking is $5 per vehicle and $10 for vehicles over 22-feet long. To access Mossdale Crossing Regional Park, take the Manthey Road Exit off of I-5 and turn right. Access will be on the left on the north side of the river.

Dos Reis Regional Park in Lathrop – With 26 camping spaces, a horseshoe pit and a playground, Dos Reis Regional Park has all of the amenities a family could need for a fun day out in the sun. When you throw in the boat launch, it expands the recreational opportunities exponentially, providing access to the San Joaquin River and other popular destinations in the Delta. Camping requires reservations that need to be made three weeks prior to arrival. They can be made by calling (209) 953-8800 or (209) 331-7400. Campsites have full hookups, showers and flush toilets, fire rings and picnic tables. The cost is $25 per night. Day use is $5 per vehicle and $10 for vehicles longer than 22 feet. To access Dos Reis Regional Park, take Lathrop Road under the I-5 overpass and turn right on Manthey Road. Make a left on Dos Reis Road. The road ends at the entrance to the park.

Windmill Cove in Stockton – This full-service marina and resort on Stockton’s deep water channel provides a fun, party-like atmosphere during the hot summer months. It offers a restaurant and bar for boaters spending the day out on the water, as well as a whole host of overnight sleeping options for those who don’t want to go home. RV spaces, private cabins and campsites are all available, as are covered and uncovered berths and overnight docking. Free parking is available for those who launch from the marina. To access Windmill Cove, take Highway 4 east and turn right on South Inland Drive. It will become W. McDonald Drive. Turn right on N. Holt Road and right again on Windmill Cove Road. The road leads straight to the resort.

Ladd’s Marina at Buckley Cove in Stockton – Whether it’s an old cuddy cabin, a sailboat or a houseboat, tucked snugly into its slip, you’ll find it all at Ladd’s Marina, Stockton’s full-service nautical destination. The Stockton Sailing Club houses its wares at the site, and Don Mann Yacht Sales provides a high-class boating option for those with discerning taste. The City of Stockton operates a park at Buckley Cove, and boat launching is open to the public. To access the site, take the March Lane exit off of I-5 and head west. The road ends at the entrance to the marina.

JASON CAMPBELL

209 staff reporter

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