Gaining Entrance


I thought I could just get in the car and drive to any lake, then walk to the water. I was WRONG!

Most bodies of water have some sort of fence around them. If as you see here at Night Heron Pond, the fence is low, there are no signs and the gate is open ... I would go right in, and perhaps back out if necessary.

Fences might be as mild, with a few boards or rails, like this one at the Leulf Pond. You can enjoy the pond from a short distance, and take a walk in the preserve around it. I wouldn't cross this as it's right in view of a house above, and it's unnecessary to trespass.

In other cases you may be faced with a serious steel chain link fence with barbed wire. To me, that says "Call for admittance" or don't bother. In my case since I can see the pond and don't need admittance to satisfy my quest, I get a few photos and leave.

If you get to a pond location and see nothing but a blank wooden fence, you could try our trick, which is to climb up and stand in the bed of the truck. That puts you above the height of the average fence, such as this one at Via Arroyo. Owners have some liability with a pond, and it's understandable that they don't want people drowning or messing around.

We have had some luck asking for permission, especially when it's the owner we are talking to, rather than a gate guard. Guards are there to prevent strangers from entering, regardless of any silly quest. If there's some property for sale behind the gate then that might get you in ... asking  "What's for sale here?" was my entre at the Pacific Isle pond. 

If there is a community gate but no guard, you might be able to walk in or enter behind another vehicle (such as Amazon or FedEx delivery vans). I've done that a few times, but I always go right to the pond, get a photo, and leave before being greeted by a security guard or nosy neighbor. Here's the Lake Ridge pond just past the gate.

In general, as an old codger, I advise caution. If the sign says Access at Owner's Discretion, and you are out in the countryside, where you can stroll in (and back out if necessary) you might give it a try. When you see signs like this, as at the Star B Bison Ranch, I suggest that it's best to turn around and leave.

Here are some more sites that deterred me:

At Ross Lake, despite this sign, we actually met the owners and were invited in. That's the best way, of course.

At Foss Lake, I just took some photos over the fence. I didn't bother to call for more information.