Pack up your fishing gear, hiking boots, and any other outdoor equipment before heading to Pine Mountain Lake in Groveland, California. This getaway destination is perfect for nature-loving families, as it offers just the right combination of fun activities and restorative relaxation. Located close to both Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest, Pine Mountain Lake is ideal for exploring the beauty of these natural wonderlands, while also enjoying all the amenities of a contemporary vacation community. Book a stay at one of many vacation rentals in Pine Mountain Lake today. Here are the top nine things to do in the area with kids.
1. Go Fishing
Pine Mountain Lake is a great place to introduce your kids to the joys of fishing. Find the perfect site to cast your reels along the 6 miles of shoreline, and enjoy the gorgeous view while you wait for a bite. The lake is well-stocked with trout, so you likely won’t have to wait too long. Be sure to capture a picture of your kids with their first catch, and if it is a big one, head over to the marina office to register it for the Kids’ Fishing Derby. Whoever captures the heaviest fish during the summer season gets a prize.
2. Take a Swim
On hot days, head to one of the sandy stretches of beach along Pine Mountain Lake, and let your kids enjoy the cool water. Both the marina area and Dunn Court Beach offer marked bathing areas with swimming docks and restrooms nearby. Bring along the sand toys, and after your dip, let your children build sandcastles while you relax in the sun.
3. Challenge Your Kids to a Round of Tennis
Don’t forget to bring along your tennis rackets. The Pine Mountain Lake Racquet club offers regular drop-in tennis hours, or you can call ahead and make a reservation to avoid the risk of a wait. Alternatively, try your hand at pickleball, a sport that combines elements of badminton, traditional tennis, and table tennis. Pine Mountain Lake Racquet club provides equipment and lessons for beginners in both tennis and pickleball, so don’t worry if you’re a little rusty.
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4. Explore on Horseback
The Pine Mountain Lake Equestrian Center offers special excursions and guided trail rides throughout the year, and the center grounds host concerts and festivals during the summer season. Give the center a call to find out what’s happening during your vacation stay. If your kids are horse lovers, check out the stable’s seasonal Wrangler Camp program. This four-hour class gives your youngsters an introduction to the world of horses. They also get to enjoy a one-hour riding lesson, horse-themed crafts, and game time with other children.
5. Work Off Some Energy at Mary Laveroni Skatepark
Pack a picnic lunch at your vacation rental, load your skateboards into your car, and take the short drive to Mary Laveroni Community Park in Groveland for a fun afternoon of skating. The park features an assortment of angles, humps, and rails suitable for challenging skaters of all levels. Grassy picnic areas, an extensive playground, horseshoe pits, and basketball courts provide additional activities to keep your family entertained.
6. Raft the Tuolumne River
If your family includes a thrill seeker or two, add a whitewater rafting adventure to your vacation itinerary. American River Touring Association and Sierra Mac River Trips offer whitewater rafting day trips on the Tuolumne River for anyone ages 10 and up. The trips include all necessary equipment and a tour guide. Ask about options for beginners or more difficult trips for experienced rafters.
7. Ski the Trails in Stanislaus National Forest
Pine Mountain Lake isn’t just for summer. This region has plenty of fun activities to enjoy during the colder winter season, too. When the snow falls, head north to the Stanislaus National Forest for fantastic cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The trails have beautiful scenic views and are graded by ability levels. Grab a cross country ski map at any park ranger office, and get the details about current trail conditions before leaving. The park also offers a few areas dedicated to sledding for your younger set to enjoy.
8. Skim Across the Lake on Water Skis
When it’s too warm for snow skiing, your teens are sure to love water skiing or wakeboarding on Pine Mountain Lake. Head over to the Pine Mountain Lake Waterski and Wakeboard Club to sign up. Be sure to sign up early, because water ski times are limited on the lake. For added fun, sign up for any other available water activities you think your family might enjoy.
9. Spend a Day at Yosemite National Park
A vacation in Pine Mountain Lake isn’t complete without at least one foray into Yosemite National Park. The entrance to the park is less than 30 miles away, and its natural beauty is sure to make an impact on every member of your family. Try hiking one of the trails in the nearby Hetch Hetchy area for colorful meadows full of wildflowers in the spring and stunning views of waterfalls year round. If you prefer a short hike, choose the Lookout trail near the Hetch Hetchy entrance, which is only 2 miles long but delivers a gorgeous view of the Hetch Hetchy Valley.
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