This summer, campers and day visitors to California’s Lake Hemet will buck tradition, the Press-Enterprise reported.
They finally will be allowed to immerse themselves in the historic reservoir in the mountains east of the San Jacinto Valley.
Splash Island II — a fleet of 11 floating, inflatable play structures — will be anchored near Campground Five where swimming off a shallow beach finally will be allowed.
Visitors will pay $10 beyond campground admission to buckle on life vests and get wet around blow-up slides and bobbing climbing structures. They will joyously tumble into the water on hot days in Garner Valley’s forested, mountain setting.
There will not be a charge beyond campground admission to use the swim beach.
The lake, a beautiful Lake Hemet Municipal Water District reservoir by Highway 74, long has been a place to cast for trout from shore or small fishing boats. Oddly, the hallowed, All-American, Boy Scout-favored paddle sport of canoeing is not allowed. It took a considerable amount of lobbying from the Valley-Wide Kayak Club to establish rules to launch their craft on the lake.
Now jumping in the lake will be encouraged. It’s a big switch.
“It could really change the perception of the lake, that there is a lot more than fishing and boating,” said Thomas Wagoner, general manager of the water district.
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