Campground Water Feature In the Heart of Gold Country

photo of campground using aquatic landscaping
Photos: Ben Davidson, courtesy of O.A.R.S.
photo of campground using aquatic landscaping

Using stone material that was originally unearthed during the California Gold Rush, landscape designer and aquatic artist Rick Dreimeyer created a stream system in a campground operated by Outdoor Adventure River Specialists, a company that offers river rafting adventures.

The property is located in the foothills of Sierras, just off the banks of the American River. It’s near Sutter’s Mill, where gold was originally discovered in 1848, giving rise to the gold-seeking frenzy that would forever transform the region.

Why install a stream in a place that already contains miles of stunningly beautiful riparian area?

According to Driemeyer, owner of Both Sides of the Door, because the campsite is set back away from the river, the owners wanted to bring moving water into the scene to add the special ambiance only water can provide, and to mask nearby traffic noise.

The narrow stream, which is designed with two merging branches, each about 75-feet long, flows right next to campsites that are raised on wooden platforms, creating intimate proximity to the water for adventure-goers.

Driemeyer, an outdoor enthusiast familiar with the region’s natural environs, studied small streams in the area to make the features appear as natural as possible while working in the ribbon-like confines of the narrow stream course.

O.A.R.S. operates throughout the Western U.S. and Canada, as well as in Central America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Founded in 1969, the company was among the first to provide rafting adventures down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Installing the streams was part of the company’s efforts to provide its customers with authentic natural experiences.

For his part, Driemeyer highly recommends river adventures for designers who work with water as a source of design inspiration, or for anyone who wants to experience the wonderment found in some of the world’s most beautiful aquatic environments.

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