Why cannot i use "how did you get so near to the lake" ? What is wrong for "near"?
Seems to me that "near" should be acceptable, but I think "close" MAY be used more often in a sentence like this.
I couldn't explain why, but "CLOSE TO the lake" and "NEAR THE lake" sound fine, but "NEAR TO the lake" sounds a little odd... not necessarily wrong, but odd, compared to the other two. It would be interesting to hear what other native English speakers think.