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Other Recreation

Camping is one of the most popular recreation activities in the Mother Lode. In the summer the weather is ideal, the fishing is great and the whole family can unwind in the country from their busy lives.

Many camp grounds allow reservations, but the majority of Stanislaus National Forest campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first-served system. Most campgrounds fill quickly during holiday weekends.

If you are prepared to camp in undeveloped areas, dispersed area camping is an option available on non-wilderness designated land. Contact the individual Ranger District nearest your destination to verify space availability in your selected campground. They can also assist you in choosing an ideal location and don’t forget to ask for a campfire permit if you are cooking in a non designated area.

For a list of RV parks, go here.

For the full list of camp grounds visit the Stanislaus National Forest Website.

Community College Columbia College
“The Mother Lode’s Community College”

Located on 280 acres of forestland in California’s historic Mother Lode, the college campus surrounds a peaceful 4 1/2 acre lake and has been described as one of the state’s most beautiful community colleges.

  Family Fun

We have a variety of outdoor activities that kids love: jump in a mountain lake, visit a limestone cavern, mountain bike on a rugged trail, ride a horse, or go sledding! And don’t leave Mother Lode without visiting Columbia State Park, where your kids will experience what it took to live in a real gold mining town.

Golf Golfing
With our beautiful year-round weather and temperate climate, the Mother Lode is a perfect place for golf.
Hunting Hunting
Hunting in the Mother Lode offers the chance to appreciate nature and match your skill and with against…
Off Highway Vehicle Off Highway Vehicles
A popular past time in the Motherlode is exploring forested and rocky terrain with what the forest service calls “off highway vehicles” Off highway vehicles include…
Rockhounding is the recreational collecting of rocks and/or mineral specimens from their natural environment. Recreational gold panning is a popular type of rockhounding in California and the Motherlode.
Columbia Observatory Star Gazing

What’s big and dark and very sparkly at night? The Mother Lode sky! Along the highways there are a number of lookouts perfect for stargazing.

Swimming Swimming
Swimming is wonderful for getting in shape and staying in shape. There are places to have fun or like…