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New American River Raft Route Takes Travelers Past Nude Beach

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AUBURN (CBS13) – It’s a whitewater jaw-dropper – families rafting on the American River floating right past naked men and women.

It’s happening along a stretch of the north fork of the river just outside of Auburn.

Nudists have been going to the spot for many years, but this year a raft full of kids could be passing by.

“That’s not appropriate for children to see,” one concerned parent said.

But the brand new river-rafting spot doesn’t come with an R rating.

“The potential mix between the family rafting trip and the nude beach is obviously going to create some tension,” said Scott Scheau with Mother Lode River Center.

For nearly 30 years the location has gone unexposed. Nudists have hiked the steep trail down to the beach to bare it all.

Norm Schoenhoff owns one of eight rafting companies that will use the new river run.

“This is a beautiful stretch of river,” he said.

Schoenhoff and others are marketing it as a family adventure, safe for kids as young as 5. But now’s it’s coming with a warning.

“It’s a trip great for young kids. However, there are some folks down there who are sunbathing in the nude,” he said.

Public nudity is illegal in the area, but it’s not enforced unless there is a complaint.

“Our priorities are serious violations,” a park ranger said.

So far, state park rangers say there have been no complaints. And the river rafting companies are hoping their warnings will be enough to keep family’s coming.

“Everybody has a place down there. We want everybody to enjoy it,” Schoenhoff said.

The section has been open to boaters for the past three years, and there have been no complaints during that time about the nude beach.

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