Whiskeytown Lake, California

One native enjoys the off-season sailing of Northern California.

Whiskeytown Lake California

Austin Morris

How lucky can I be? I live in northern California and can go sailing within seven miles of home, any old time I wish, at Whiskeytown Lake. It hardly ever rains between April and November, so the near-perfect weather begins in the spring. Whiskeytown Lake, located west of Redding in the Whiskeytown National Recreational Area, is famous for its annual Memorial Day Weekend Regatta. But the delight of Whiskeytown is the off-season sailing offered during the fall and winter months. At those times, I may be the only one on the lake, save for a dozen ducks, a few deer, and (it really did happen) a black bear swimming alongside the boat. During the season, I’m usually content to sail in my Buccaneer 270 on a dinner cruise or overnight. In January and February, windy conditions produce an exciting ride, and while the weather may be nippy, the sailing is marvelous.

Austin Morris is from Redding, California.