Originally known as Laguna Grande by early Spanish explorers, Lake Elsinore has a rich history in the region, used as a rest stop to camp and water animals for trappers, prospectors of the Gold Rush, and for the great explorer of the Wild West, John Charles Frémont.
Sandy Creek Park surrounds 260-acre Lake Chapman, which was constructed to preserve the Sandy Creek watershed and act as an emergency water reservoir for Athens, and serve as a recreation site. Healthy populations of catfish, bass, and crappie draw anglers to the lake, while a sandy beach makes this park a popular place to swim and catch some rays. The park features a variety of activities and facilities. Picnic sites, wooded trails, swimming, playgrounds, fishing, dog runs, disc golf course, sports area, and rental pavilion facilities are highlights of the large park.