Whiskeytown’s Summer Programs Include Kayaks, History, More

Clouds reflecting off Whiskeytown LakeFor close to a century, visitors from around the world have participated in the rich tradition of attending ranger-led programs. Millions of visitors, whether seeking a greater awareness of nature, learning about our cultural history, or just looking for fun and exciting outdoor activities, have deepened their appreciation for national parks by attending these programs. Just 8 miles west of Redding, Whiskeytown continues this tradition by offering a wide variety of fun, family-friendly ranger-led programs through the summer season.

For those visitors interested in becoming Whiskeytown Junior Rangers, please stop by the visitor center or ask a park ranger for a Junior Ranger program card. Completing the Junior Ranger programs will help you explore, learn about, and protect the park’s natural and cultural resources. Although the programs are designed for children ages 6 to 12, all ages are welcome to participate and earn a Whiskeytown patch!

Ranger-led programs began mid-June and are offered through Labor Day weekend. Some programs, such as the Kayak Tours, may be offered beyond Labor Day, weather permitting. You can call Park Ranger Clinton Kane at (530) 242-3451 to arrange a special program for your students or other organization. Whiskeytown offers a Gold Rush program that meets California’s 4th grade curriculum standards for history, as well as ranger-led hikes to the waterfalls throughout the year. Please call the Visitor Center at (530) 246-1225, visit nps.gov/whis, or call Ranger Kane for the latest information on park programs.

Ranger-led program descriptions:

Four Kayaks Exploring NatureKayak Program: Hop on a kayak with a friend and explore the quiet coves around Whiskeytown Lake while you learn more about the natural and cultural values of the park. Children must be at least six years old.

Daily 2½-hour tours run at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. with an additional 12:30 p.m. tour offered on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are required and may be made up to two weeks in advance by calling (530) 242-3462. Ask about arranging a group tour (minimum of 12 people) for your friends and family, business, or community group.

Special Access Kayak Program: This program has been developed for individuals with special needs so they can enjoy a kayaking adventure. Visitors who have limited mobility, disabilities, developmental issues, or restrictions due to age or illness are encouraged to give kayaking a try. Visitors with special needs are paired with an experienced volunteer.

These 2-hour tours are available on Friday evenings during July and August. Please call (530) 242-3454 for more information.

Moonlight Kayak Tours: Experience dramatic changes in the landscape as you explore Whiskeytown lake under the light of the moon in these 2½-hour tours running from July through September.

Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance by calling (530) 242-3462. Reservations are limited to four per call. Please call early to secure your space.

Evening programs: Spend the evening with a ranger and learn more about wonders of Whiskeytown through talks, slide shows, or other activities during this one-hour program. Topics include history, wildlife, and current issues related to protecting the park’s natural and cultural resources. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. (beginning August 5, start time will be 8:30 pm)

It’s all about nature: Families with children 3 to 5 years of age are welcome to join a ranger near the Brandy Creek Beach snack bar. Come learn about the natural world of Whiskeytown through children’s stories, songs, activities, and nature-based crafts. Local storytellers will be featured throughout the summer, providing fun and educational activities for our youngest visitors. These 1-hour programs happen every Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Walk In Time: Discover how pioneering prospectors Charles Camden and Levi Tower reshaped the landscape to create a home for their families and an “oasis” for many travelers during and after the California Gold Rush. After a tour of the Camden house, built in 1852, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the apple orchard, then try your hand at finding gold the old-fashioned way — with a gold pan in the creek!

Meet the ranger at the Tower House Historic District parking lot near the bulletin board on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. for this 2-hour program. Please bring a bottle of water and, if you choose to get wet, extra clothing.

Water safety demonstration: Learn how to save someone from drowning while keeping yourself safe. Join a ranger for this fun, 30-minute water-safety demonstration at Brandy Creek Beach on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Junior Ranger: Children 6 to 12 years of age can learn about preserving and protecting while making new friends during a special one-hour activity that explores the wonders of Whiskeytown. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater Saturdays at 10 a.m. (1 hour)

Junior Firefighter: See how firefighters manage fire to promote forest health and protect lives and property. Learn about the important role that fire plays in our national parks during this hands-on activity. Meet at the Oak Bottom Amphitheater Saturday at 11 a.m. (1 hour)

Junior Ranger Kayak Program: Join us for a special program that pairs parents and their children in a kayak so they can discover and share the joy of nature with each other as they paddle and play. The program is geared for children, three to five years old and six to twelve years old. Monday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (1.5 hours). Please call (530) 242-3462 to make a reservation.

-from press release

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Press Release

-from press release