About: Created by the construction of the Salinas Dam in 1941, Santa Margarita Lake was originally designed to furnish water to Camp San Luis Obispo. Today, swimming in the lake is not permitted as it is the drinking water reservoir for the City of San Luis Obispo.
Beyond the developed area of the park, Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area represents several thousand acres of designated open space. This section of the park is managed for its natural resource values, passive recreational use, and environmental education opportunities. The area is accessible to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Motor vehicles are not permitted in the Natural Area. Santa Margarita Lake Regional Park is a nature lover's retreat. With thousands of acres of unspoiled open space, the park is home to countless species of plants and wildlife making it the perfect location for nature study, boating, and fishing.
Directions: Driving north or south on Highway 101 take the Highway 58 exit into Santa Margarita. Follow thru town and look for Highway 58 signs. At the end of town you will turn right onto Highway 58. This is also referred to as Santa Margarita Lake Road or Pozo Road. Follow this road for approximately 6 miles to Santa Margarita Lake Road. Do NOT turn left onto Highway 58. You want to continue straight until you get to Santa Margarita Lake Road. Turn left (the Rinconada Store will be on your right). Entrance to Santa Margarita Lake is at the end of this road.
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