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10 Summer Fun Things

The summer solstice is Tuesday, June 21st but extreme hot weather is here so bring a lot of water with you and keep an eye out for triple digits in the Sonora area forecast. What is there to do in the Mother Lode?Dragoon Gulch Trail vista

There are great local events including many annual events that are traditional including the Mother Lode Fair scheduled from June 30th to July 3rd. The Mother Lode offers secluded outdoor places to enjoy nature too. My favorite spot is Natural Bridges, watch for shiny leaves of poison oak!


Summer and water play go hand in hand. Swimming in Mother Lode doesn’t just include swimming pools… Pools are fun but what could be more fun than enjoying water sports like water skiing at a local reservoir or lake? More…

Murphys Park with Murphys Creek and its light current is a great place for wading in the cool water. Children are totally thrilled to float under the park’s bridges. The Murphys Library is adjacent to the park as well with plenty of restaurants within walking distance.

Pinecrest is also a favorite and there are many, many other lakes and rivers in the area. Several are listed in the destination guide here. For those who have a boat, I have been watching all the fun that the water skiers and fishermen have on New Melones, and Lake Tulloch.

Lake Tulloch Recreation

Community, Youth and Senior Centers

Get in touch with the community by joining activities at local community centers. More…

Golf and Disc Golf

With many courses in Calaveras and Tuolumne county area be sure to schedule your tee time. More…


There are several hiking paths to enjoy in the Mother Lode including in Yosemite and around New Melones Reservoir. While you’re having fun remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water whenever you take part in outdoor activities. Don’t leave home without several water bottles- and even better, bring some frozen bottles of water.


When it gets too hot to be outdoors the local library branches are great places to hang out.  Sonora Main Branch Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. Tuolumne and Twain Harte Tuesday through Thursday 2 am to 6 pm and Friday 10 am to 2 pm. Groveland is open Tuesday through Thursday from Noon to 6 pm and Friday 10 am to 2 pm. Summer Reading Program is Back! The kick-off event is June 21st with a “Fun in the Sun” event. The theme this year is “read beyond the beaten path”  The Sonora Branch will have their reading program every Thursday after June 21st until July 30th from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Twain Hart and Groveland will have summer reading days on Wednesdays from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm and Tuolumne will be on Tuesdays from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm.


The Mother Lode is surrounded by dozens of pristine lakes and reservoirs with relaxing fishing opportunities for beginners and professionals alike. More…

Spelunking (Cave Exploration)

The Mother Lode area has some of California’s largest cavern systems. Professional tours of these natural wonders are fun, easy to access and educational for the entire family. More…

Rock Hounding

Rock Hounding is the recreational collecting of rocks and/or mineral specimens from their natural environment. Recreational gold panning, as you can imagine, is a popular type of rock hounding in the Mother Lode! More…

Whitewater Rafting

River rafting in Mother Lode is a trilling experience. Nothing’s better on a hot summer’s day in Mother Lode than a wild ride down the river! More…

Star Gazing

Get away from city and suburban light and gaze at the stars. Use a smart phone app to find all the constellations, check the event calendar for star parties, June 30th enjoy a night with Saturn, in July details are here, and August is here  More…

More Family Fun

There is a lot more to do in the Mother Lode and many outdoor activities- view an overview here.

The Recreation Guide has more activities and we welcome more suggestions! If you want to learn some great places to see find it in the Destination Guide.