Tucked away in the hills near Burney, California, Baum Lake is perfect for a peaceful afternoon kayaking or canoeing. This calm lake is only open to non-motorized vessels, making it a perfect spot for human powered boating. A very gradual and wide dirt boat launch area makes launching vessels easy. The longest paddling path on the lake leads to the dam straight ahead from the launch area. Along the lake a variety of birds can be spotted including pelicans, osprey, bald eagles, and many species of waterfowl. During some months chicks and fledglings can be observed following their mother.
Baum Lake is owned and managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which allows users free parking and recreation. Several picnic tables sit near the lake's edge under willow trees and provide great spots for picnicking before or after paddling. Nearby Crystal Lake is closed to boating, but it flows into Baum Lake via a very short outflow stream. A short hiking trail leads around the shore of Baum Lake and passes over the outflow from Crystal Lake. This trail also is part of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Excellent bird watching and fishing add other great opportunities for recreation. The best fishing is often found near the outflow from Crystal Lake into Baum Lake. Osprey can be observed fishing in the cold waters of the lake. These expert fishers hover in the air looking for fish before diving into the lake feet first. Osprey's well adapted vision can spot fish from over 130 feet above the surface.
Crystal Lake Hatchery also lies along the shore of Baum Lake, and there several species of trout that are reared to be transported to near 60 locations in the Northern California area. Currently these four species of trout are raised with the facility's seven raceways: rainbow trout (Pit River strain), Eagle Lake trout, sterile triploid brown trout, and sterile triploid Eastern brook trout.