Maple Creek

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Rating:  C

Imagine riding down a river in a tube and coming across dozens of naked people in the water or sprawled on the banks.  That's the eye-popping event that happens nearly every day in the summer at two swimming holes near Maple Creek and the Salyer Roadside Rest Area, both off Highway 299.  The water can be icy, so there are usually far more nudies on the shore than not.  Tip: bring old shoes to protect your feet from river rocks, in case you decide to take a dip.

Legal status:

Unknown.

How to find it:

Follow Mad River directions to the town of Blue Lake (see above). Access to Maple Creek, which consists of a few buildings, is via a small road in town. "It's a little ways inland from Blue Lake," reader Douglas Beck says. The same drive can also be made from Kneeland, which can be reached from Arcata. From Highway 101, head up Fickle Hill Road to the Maple Creek exit. Take the exit to where you see cars pulled off, then park and walk upstream past a clothed beach to the nude swimming hole.

The beach:

Depending on the season, the beach of rocks and sand is next to a small river or stream.

The crowd:

You and a few others may be the only ones here.

Problems:

Unknown legal status; river rocks; better directions needed.

 

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