Almaden Lake Park...

The summers of my childhood were on a military base beachfront on Seneca Lake in up-state New York. It didn't have nice sand, or cabanas, or even a snack shop....heck, I don't even think we had a lifeguard. We were forced into hideously colored water shoes to keep us from slipping on slime covered rocks and from slicing our feet open on broken glass. But, we had a dock to jump off, and an endless supply of Kool-Aid Squeeze-Its (ironically because my mom didn't allow us soda due to a belief it contained too much sugar) so life was pretty good.

Fast forward 20 years. Wanna relive that summer by the lake feel, but without the broken glass and the added bonus of an on-duty lifeguard? Try out Almaden Lake Park! I was pleasantly surprised that it still retained a lot of lake feel (and smell) of yesteryear. A mere 15 minutes away from my home, within the confines of a local suburban park, lay an oasis of sorts. There were ducks and geese swimming around, you could rent paddle boats by the hour, and the sand floor reached out to the roped off area. No slimy rocks! The lake was regularly tested for safe swimming conditions (I swam in toxic dump drainage as a kid so I figure anything is better than that, but hey, it might be important to some people). There was also a nearby snack hut, and a water park for those too squeamish to swim with the fishes.

In any case, we had a great time, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to enjoy some lake adventures for just the day.

There is a minimal parking and swim fee so don't forget to bring some cash.

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