Miss Liberty tours daily on Big Bear Lake
Pine Knot Marina is home to Miss Liberty, Big Bear Lake's largest tour boat. See the lake sights in enclosed. climate controlled comfort or head to the top deck for breathtaking views. Also at Pine Knot Marina is Big Bear Parasail's Fun Dock with parasailing, jet boat rides, waverunner rentals and more. 439 Pine Knot Ave., Big Bear Lake. (909) 866-8129.
Methodically the big red paddlewheel spins, hypnotizing viewers staring at it through the big glass window and watching the spray play. If they squint the right way, they imagine themselves churning down the Mighty Mississippi even though this is Big Bear Lake.
So what if the wheel is just for looks and not really a part of the propulsion for the largest tour boat on the lake? The smokestacks are just for show too...but what a show the luxurious paddlewheeler on the lake, Miss Liberty, puts on.
Miss Liberty looks like she comes straight from New Orleans and she did service the Gulf Coast originally...before a detour sent her to Florida. Built in 1994, she received a complete overhaul before coming to Big Bear in 2007, including the installation of a beautiful iodized aluminum ceiling in the downstairs galley that was salvaged from a New Orleans boat damaged in Hurricane Katrina.
At 64 feet long and almost 25 feet above the water, Miss Liberty is the largest vessel ever to venture out on the lake. The Skipperliner 1500 LX paddlewheeler with steel bulkheads accomodates up to 125 people.
Downstairs Miss Liberty is enclosed and climate controlled with windows all around. Carpeting, stylish lights, wood accents, restrooms and snack bar are but a few of the appointments. Guests can step forward outside to the bow to experience the lake firsthand if they don’t care to watch the wheel spin or views slide by.
The upstairs deck is canopy covered with plenty of seating and that’s where many guests automatically gravitate to. The views seem magnified by being more than a dozen feet above the water.
That’s where Big Bear second homeowners Holly and Bill Procopio took guests Suzie and Don Hogan from Murrietta for one excursion. The group enjoyed the top deck for the trip west down the lake’s south shore to the dam, passing Lagonita Lodge, Mel Blanc’s home, the Zebra Room and others, all presented during onboard narration. Coming back along the north shore, the foursome went down below.
"We wanted to take the tour," Suzie Hogan said. "It’s very interesting, all the people who live along the lake and just the size of the lake and dam are all interesting. There was enough corny humor to make the narration entertaining. It’s especially interesting that the ceiling came from a boat destroyed in Katrina."
Besides daily treks at noon, and 2, 4 and 6 p.m. (minimum passenger requirements, Miss Liberty is available for weddings, corporate functions and such. Adult fare is $20, $19 senior, $13 children, under four are free.