Hagmier Pond

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Rating: A

More of a hangout for sunbathing and socializing than swimming, the place that Marinites call "the Pond" is usually so silted-over and polluted by mid-June that signs warn visitors to stay out of the water due to its high bacteria count. "Some people still go there, but many of the locals now go to other locations," says Velkoff, who describes his last visit there as "kind of boring." Nevertheless, in the spring and early summer, and then again in the fall and on warm winter days, this inland site usually draws dozens of mostly nude sunbathers and water waders from coastal communities that are socked in by the fog. Sporadic visits by rangers have been reported; one unnamed ranger, in particular, is said to have been increasingly "hassling people."

 

Managed by Point Reyes National Seashore.

How to find it:

From Stinson Beach, go north on Highway 1, passing Audubon Canyon Ranch on the right and, a half mile later, the Bolinas turnoff. After the stand of eucalyptus trees, keep heading north, past the Dogtown Pottery sign and some sharp turns with more eucalyptus. As the road becomes straighter, look for another small group of eucalyptus. The parking area is on the west side, next to a Randall trailhead sign. At the entrance, at milepost 20.53, walk right across the meadow and you'll see the pond. Look for sunbathing space around the dam.

The beach:

A human-made lake with limited access to the water, except near the dam. "It gets more clogged with weeds every year," says Dave Smith, of San Leandro. Unbeknownst to most visitors, when bathers are not present, cows sometimes wander down to the water for a drink, creating possible health hazards.

The Crowd:

Up to 75 mostly nude, mostly gay men on hot days; straight folks also visit.

 

Problems:

Lake becoming clogged with vegetation; pull-off easy to miss (heading south, if you pass Dogtown, at milepost 18, you've gone too far); limited access; cow manure; cold water and varying water quality; sexual activity at or near site sometimes brings rangers.

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