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Too bad CCR missed lake back in the 1970s

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POSTED May 19, 2012 1:48 a.m.

LODI - It’s obvious Clearance Clearwater Revival didn’t break down near Lodi Lake. If they had, they never would have immortalized the city somewhat negatively in song.

The recreational water diversions available at the municipal park created around a lake fed by the Mokelumne River just off Turner Road in Lodi is without parallel in The Northern San Joaquin Valley.

There’s everything from relaxing picnic areas on the water and public swimming complete with lifeguards to paddle boat and kayak rentals to benches strategically placed so you can sit and enjoy the calming effect of the water.

Lodi Lake is also where that city conducts its annual Fourth of July aerial fireworks celebration.

Lodi Lake can be reached by taking Highway 99 north to the Turner Road west exit. It is just across the street from the General Mills plant making it one of the easiest places to find in all of Lodi.

Entrance fees for vehicles are $4 for Lodi residents and $5 for out-of-towners. You can also access Lodi Lake on the cheap by simply parking along Turner Road - there’s plenty of shade - and walking in.

The park segment along Turner Road is fairly typical.

There are grassy knolls and mature trees providing a barrier of sorts from the noise along Turner Road. Numerous BBQ and picnic spots include group areas that you need to secure in advance by contacting Lodi Parks and Recreation at (209) 333-6742.

An extensive children’s playground area is located in the park’s southeast corner as well.

The Turner Road side also offers a dock for fishing.

Kayaks (both single and tandem) as well as paddle boat are available to rent for $5 a half hour if you’re interested in venturing on to the nine-acre lake and even onto the Mokelumne River. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekends. Sometimes there will be a concessionaire with a jumbo-sized hot dog stand selling everything from nachos to classic junk food. If that doesn’t suit your style and you neglected to pack a picnic lunch, you can walk across Turner Road to an old-fashioned Sno-White drive-in.

Access to the public swim area is by an additional fee. Admission lets you use the only sandy beach on the lake plus wade or swim in a restricted area that is overseen by lifeguards. Swimming is prohibited elsewhere in the lake.

There’s also a children’s wading pool complete with cascading water as well as changing rooms/restrooms.

A walk around the lake is pleasant allowing you to take advantage of numerous benches to enjoy the view of the water. The combination of water, trees and gentle breezes lowered the temperature at least 10 to 15 degrees last Sunday during a mid-day visit to Lodi Lake.

The far side of the Lodi Lake is accessible by vehicle, offers a boat launch, a dock, various group picnic areas including one on a point of land surrounded on three sides by water.

There are delightful backwater areas full of aquatic vegetation with ample ducks vying for your bread crumbs.

The far side also has a dog park and secondary water areas that are just as pleasant and clean as the main lake. There are also five large picnic areas that can be reserved. There is also a nature area.

The far side also has children’s play equipment and restrooms.

Fishing on the lake is popular as there is direct access to the main river.

But last Sunday, the “in thing” on the water was kayaking, canoeing and exploring by paddle boat. There were also more than a few personal water craft or Jet Ski users in the “back lakes.”

The rock band CCR probably wouldn’t have minded being “stuck in Lodi again” when they were en route gig and had car trouble on Turner Road by Lodi Lake.


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