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Recreation

The community of Merced is nestled within a diverse landscape, affording residents and visitors an abundance of recreational opportunities. Merced is home to winding bike routes, golf courses, community parks, sites for boating, fishing, hiking and camping, and hails as the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

The city boasts one of the top bikeway systems in the country, allowing riders access to virtually any area in Merced. In addition, several community parks are located in the area, providing sites for biking, jogging, skating, picnicking, swimming and more.

Three golf courses are easily accessible in the Merced area, including Stevinson Ranch Golf Course in Stevinson, Rancho Del Rey in Atwater and Pheasant Run in Chowchilla.

And for those who prefer a relaxing day of boating and fishing, the region is loaded with lakes and rivers. Lake Yosemite, just north of Merced, offers sailing, swimming and picnic grounds. McClure and McSwain lakes, filled with trout, king salmon, largemouth bass and many more, are known as top fishing sites in the state. Other water activities can be had at the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area and McConnell State Recreation Area.

Visit over 1,180 square miles of nature’s most awe-inspiring scenery in Yosemite National Park. See Half Dome, El Captain, Tuolumne Meadows, and Bridal Veil and Yosemite Falls. Daily tours are available, or for the more adventurous, try rock climbing, river rafting, bicycling, or snowshoeing or skiing in the winter. Entrance fees are $20 per car or buy an individual pass for $10. Call the California Welcome Center for current road conditions.

YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) offers a hassle-free alternative to driving to the park. Ample storage allows for easy transport of luggage and bicycles. YARTS service departs daily from the Merced Transportation Center. For detailed schedule information and tickets, visit www.yosemite.com or call YARTS at (877) 989-YARTS (989-2787).

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