Barbara Padilla's traditional family camping trip in a San Mateo County redwood park was canceled because of the drought.
Jim Travis' annual spring charity rubber ducky race in Livermore was relocated to a high school swimming pool when a stream dried up.
A Southern California rafting company called off its season on the Kern River.
California's drought is taking a toll on recreation, disrupting boating, rafting, swimming and camping in some places as the third dry year in a row erodes water supplies in creeks, rivers and lakes.
To be sure, many recreation spots have escaped major pain. No California state park has closed due to lack of water. Rafting companies are busy with trips on Northern California rivers fed by water releases from upstream dams.
But the drought has left its imprint, creating hardships big and small for outdoor recreation -- from the closure of kayaking and canoeing at Stevens Creek and Lexington reservoirs in Santa Clara County, to the temporary shutdown of fishing in several coastal streams during salmon and steelhead migration earlier this year, to the closure of a popular swim lagoon at Castaic Lake in Santa Clarita.
And water is likely to get scarcer as summer advances.
The drought ambushed Padilla, a South San Francisco mom who planned to camp with her family last week at Memorial County Park, east of Pescadero.
For the first time in 90 years, San Mateo County park officials had to close the campground for the season because Pescadero Creek's water supply is too low and has become fouled with algae.
"I'm very bummed," Padilla said. "I've been coming here since I was a girl."
Marlene Finley, San Mateo County's parks director, said it would be impractical to truck in water for 154 camp sites, but the park stays open to day visitors. Some couples planning weddings there canceled when told there would be no water.
While no state parks are closed this year and park visitors have not declined significantly, water shortages or restrictions have closed showers and flush toilets and led to some swimming or boating restrictions, said Vicky Waters, a state parks spokeswoman.
At the Hearst Castle visitor center near San Simeon and the D.L. Bliss Park in Lake Tahoe, flush toilets have been closed to save water. Chemical toilets take their place.
In the East Bay, Mt. Diablo State Park visitors are told to bring their own water because springs are low.
Shortages, however, haven't stopped hardy visitors from camping at the park, said Dan Stefanisko, the park's head ranger.
A short distance away, the boat launch at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton is close to becoming stranded in mud and inoperable as water evaporates, said Mark Ragitz, a regional parks assistant general manager.
Shadow Cliffs boat docks for rental boats are in deeper water and better shape, but they also could encounter problems later this year, Ragitz added.
Things are a bit brighter at nearby Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore.
The park district had stopped taking camping reservations beyond July 1 because of water worries. But the district has resumed taking reservations, through Sept. 1, because the water is higher than expected.
Near Sacramento, boating is off at Folsom Lake, where six of nine boat ramps are closed because of low water levels.
"It's still a good place to come boating," said Keith Wooten, assistant manager of the Folsom Lake Marina.
In the Sierra, rafting companies are making runs on many Northern California waterways, such as the American and Tuolumne rivers.
But there was no such luck for the Livermore Duck Races in April at its traditional spot on Arroyo Mocho creek. Fewer visitors came to watch when it had to be moved to a swimming pool.
"It's much more exciting to have the event in the arroyo," said Jim Travis of the Livermore Y's Men Club, an event co-sponsor. "We're looking forward to the drought ending."
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.