Lake Casitas Recreation Area
Click for map.
There are a number of trails close around Lake Casitas and I decided to poke along one before a nearby event in the middle of the day. Entry to the recreation area costs $10 per car in the off season, but you can walk or bike in through the main entrance for free. Follow the roads around to parking at the trailhead. The trail continues from the end and out around the lake. It is a rather wide and smooth dirt, apparently even suitable to hoverboards as a couple pass me on a pair that somehow look more like small Segways than a floating skateboard. They quickly turn down a smaller trail heading for the distant lake shore. Then it is just me and a lot of footprints and bicycle lines on the dirt.
|Across the lake arm to the little bit of lake left.|
At first, the trail is just along the road as it starts around the edge of the Wedleigh Arm of Lake Casitas. It slips through a gate that could be rolled closed and locked at sunset, according to the sign. A post next to the gate marks mile 0 of the 2 mile route. It turns away from the road and crosses an earth dam between the low lake and a winery before becoming a wide dirt ribbon between water and chaparral.
|The low dam that keeps the lake from flooding the winery beyond, when it fills again. Sulphur Mountain beyond is turning grey with ash in the air from the Thomas Fire.|
|Seems if you want to go fishing from the shore, you can drive right down to it as you see fit.|
|A juvenile hawk, I suppose, stares back.|
As I wander around, I am never quite in nature. It is not just the cars on the shore and the boats on the lake, but there are even a couple garbage cans along the way and a bench and picnic tables at the end.
|Many rings show in the beach and the growth above it since the lake is at 35%. The mountains behind it seem to be showing a bit more rock.|
|Some areas are nicely oak shaded, which is quite welcome in the growing heat.|
|Across the lake, there is now a land bridge to what was once an island. There must be trail over there too as I watched some joggers on it.|
|There is only the slightest amount of green among the brown and dried.|
|An open stretch before another few oaks.|
|Nearly to the end of the line with a bench to rest.|
I have plenty of time and the lake is opening up a bit, so I rest and watch for a while. There seems no reason to end the trail here. It just sort of runs out. The main dam is just visible over a couple more fingers of land and whatever lies behind the island is still hidden.
|The dam is partly visible in the distance.|
|The no longer island across the water.|
After a bit and a drawing, I head back on the flat road. Although there are many prints in the dirt, there is only one other hiker while I am there. There was a bike shortly before I started and the pair with their powered rollers. It is a pleasant enough stroll, but probably not quite worth the entry fee.
|Road stretching out on the return.|
|Back across the earth dam and nearly returned to the parking lot.|
©2018 Valerie Norton
Posted 7 Feb 2018