Category Archives: Rafting

Discovery Park will open this weekend after four months of being underwater

After being flooded for months, Discovery Park will open its gates Saturday for Memorial Day weekend, Sacramento County Regional Parks announced Wednesday.

The 302-acre park closed in January during winter storms as heavy rains and high releases from Folsom Lake left it underwater. The popular summer destination sits at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers.

Tiscornia Beach and much of the park will remain closed, but the boat launch, some parking lots and picnic areas overlooking the confluence will be open. The Jibboom Bridge will open and the American River bike trail will be available through the closed areas.

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Cold reality for swimmers: Be cautious around waterways this warm weekend

With temperatures expected to warm into the mid-90s this weekend, parks and rescue personnel say that if you must enter the water do so with caution – and perhaps a water preserver.

Already this year, a teen has drowned in the cold water of the American River at Negro Bar and rafters have been forced against the pilings of a bike and pedestrian bridge, requiring a fire boat rescue.

The big snowpack means twice the amount of water in the river than was seen in spring during the drought. Increased flows translate into a high and fast American River from Folsom Lake to the confluence with the Sacramento River at Discovery Park.

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Body of missing teen found in American River

The body of a missing teenager has been recovered from the waters of the American River Wednesday after he was reported missing April 30.

The 14-year-old boy’s body was found by California State Parks at approximately 11:30 a.m. in the general area where he went missing. The boy, who was not wearing a life vest, was swept down stream from Rainbow Bridge in Folsom.

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Search now a recovery mission for teen last seen jumping into American River

Crews continued to search Wednesday for the missing teen who was last seen jumping off rocks Monday evening near Folsom’s Rainbow Bridge.

The search, which was relaunched at 8 a.m Wednesday, is officially considered as a recovery mission, said Rich Preston, California State Park superintendent.

“We are still actively looking for him,” Preston said.

A Yolo County Sheriff’s Department boat equipped with side-scanning sonar that can provide images of the lake bottom was brought in to aid the search efforts. Two State Park boats and a Sacramento Drowning Accident Rescue Team were also on the water near the Negro Bar State Park beach.

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Two rafters are plucked from pilings of American River Bridge after spill into water

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews rescued two rafters from pilings of an American River pedestrian bridge after they fell into the swift-moving water.

Five people were aboard when the raft hit the PCA pedestrian bridge at Sacramento Bar near Sunrise Boulevard. Three rafters made it to shore but two grabbed onto the pilings of the old gravel company bridge.

Firefighters responded at about 11:45 a.m., according to fire Capt. Chris Vestal. The river is running fairly high and swift. The water, fed by Sierra snowmelt, is cold.

Metro Fire firefighters in a rescue boat reached the two and brought them safely to shore. Vestal said the raft was too small for the high volume of water flowing down the river.

“We have water flows that are historically high for this time of the season,” Vestal said. He added that none of the rafters were wearing life preservers.

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Park Rangers Ask Kayakers, Rafters to Stay Off Lower American River due to Dangerous Flows

Park rangers are asking kayakers and rafters to avoid the lower American River this weekend due to dangerous flows.

After one of the wettest winters on record for California, flows into the American River have been particularly high and fast.

While those flows are far from their highest, officials say they still pose a danger, as debris and trees near the banks are still under water.

“There’s new side channels that people are unfamiliar with and, right now, the river is not in a condition that would support a home bought raft — let alone a rental,” Michael Doane, Sacramento County Parks’ chief ranger, told FOX40.

The power of the water in the lower American was evident from the damage that still needs to be repaired along the parkway. The pedestrian bridge at Sunrise Boulevard was closed for repairs Thursday. Underneath, deflated rafts remain after they were swept under last week. Those on board were lucky to get to safety.

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American River canyon cleanup targets pesky plant

It’s not just litter that volunteers will be scouring the American River canyon for during Saturday’s American River Clean-up.

As well as taking out the trash, Protect AmericanRiver Canyons and its partners will be targeting invasive broom – a plant that board member Eric Peach said is disturbingly on the increase in the Auburn State Recreation Area and threatening to choke off trails.

Clippers and pruners will be provided to participants willing to wade into the dense growth on the branches of the invasive weed. The broom that is cut will be removed and burned.

“Once it gets established, it’s almost like star thistle,” Peach said. “You can’t get rid of it.”

April is a good time of year to reduce the broom footprint because its trademark yellow blooms haven’t appeared and its not seeding, he said.

The cleanup starts with 8 a.m. registration at the confluence information booth. From there volunteers will fan out to areas throughout the recreation area to clean up litter and chop away broom.

 “Being close to the American River and canyons – having wild nature so close by – is why many of us live in the foothills,” Peach said. “One of the easiest way to express our appreciation for the AmericanRiver is to keep the river and canyons clean and safe for all wildlife and people.”

By 9 a.m., the educational component of the Earth-Day related event will start, with a hike and lecture by Perry Cook and Charlene Carveth on canyon bridges and wildflowers. Colfax watercolor artist Juan Pena will be offering a painting demonstration and tips on capturing the canyon on canvas starting at 9 a.m. and lasting throughout the morning.

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New $22M Highway 49 bridge good for rafts as well as cars

Caltrans marked the start of construction on a new bridge on Highway 49 at Coloma on Thursday.

A groundbreaking ceremony signaled a start on a $22 million project designed to bring the crossing over the south fork of the American River up to current seismic standards while providing safer access for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The new bridge in the Lotus-Coloma area will replace the existing 62-year-old structure. Previous Caltrans reports had pegged the age of the bridge at 66.

The project will include seismic upgrades, 8-foot shoulders and new sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. The project also includes new curbs, gutters, sidewalks and retaining walls.

“This project aligns with Caltrans’ goals to provide a safe transportation system that also improves mobility,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “Now that the piers of the new bridge are on land versus being in the water, this new bridge will not only allow for safer travel by pedestrians and bicyclists, but it will also make it easier for rafters in the river below.”

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Volunteers come together to tackle canyon cleanup

A hardy group of volunteers gathered at the American River confluence bright and early on Saturday morning with the goal of helping to spruce up the canyon and river areas.

   Earth Day, which began in 1970, is now celebrated in more than 190 countries worldwide. It has been celebrated for 19 years in Auburn, with many like-minded individuals coming together on this day to be involved in recognizing Earth Day 2017.

   Organized locally by Protect American River Canyons (PARC), Auburn State Recreation Area and Canyon Keepers, there were numerous tasks for the volunteers to tackle. Volunteers eagerly showed up with gloves and were loaned trash pickers, pruning shears and large plastic bags.

   After a safety talk by Auburn State Recreation Area Supervising Ranger Scott Liske, trash pickup was targeted on the Quarry Trail, No Hands Bridge Trail, Lake Clementine Trail, the Confluence Trail, Stagecoach Trail and along Foresthill Road near Mammoth Bar.

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Three county supervisors appointed to Lower American River Parkway Conservancy

Sacramento County supervisors appointed three of their own to the advisory committee for the Lower American River Conservancy Program on Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint supervisors Phil Serna, Susan Peters and Don Nottoli to the committee, with the goal of protecting the parkway, often called the “jewel of Sacramento,” and promoting recreational opportunities.

The American River Parkway is an urban greenbelt that provides flood control and wildlife habitat and protects water quality, along with biking and walking trails.

“Overall the American River Parkway is one of the best amenities in the region,” said Dianna Poggetto, executive director of the American River Parkway Foundation. “It’s considered a blueprint for all the greenbelts in the United States.”

The parkway attracts 8 million visitors annually, Poggetto said.

The Lower American River Conservancy Program was established in a bill authored by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

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