Monday, May 16, 2011

[News] 70 California State Parks to Close

Castle Rock to Close
Many redwood parks like Portola Redwoods (photo above) and Del Norte Redwoods are being closed in addition to some Bay Area favorites like Castle Rock, Samuel P. Taylor, and Henry W. Coe.

Look at a city or state budget and you'll see where it's priorities are or in the case of the California State Park System, where they are not. Friday (the 13th of May no less) it was announced that 70 more parks are now sitting on the chopping block for complete closure with the Bay Area chipping in more than it's fair share (about 20) to ease the state budget deficit.

Popular Bay Area parks like Samuel P. Taylor, Henry W. Coe, and Castle Rock are all slated to be closed permanently. Park Officials have said we will see service reductions immediately and closures beginning at the end of summer. Most of closures are in Historic Sites, the most famous of which is the Governors Mansion in Sacramento. Redwood Parks however like Del Norte Coast Redwoods, Hendy Woods, and Portola Redwoods are also on the chopping block.

All in all about 25% of the State Park system will be closing. This after several waves of severe service reductions phased in over the last 5 years which has left trails in parks like Portola Redwoods virtually wild, covered in debris, and overgrown.

Park Officials have indicated that some parks might remain open if they receive local support. We may say foundations like SF based, Save the Redwoods League, and the California State Parks Foundation swoop in and rescue several of these parks. California Parks Director, Ruth Coleman, told the San Francisco Chronicle "We are very much reaching out to all Californians and asking them to work with us to forge partnerships to identify new groups and new entities that can run these parks,".

Bay Area Parks to Close:

  • Annadel State Park (Sonoma County)
  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park (Sonoma County)
  • Jack London State Historic Park (Sonoma County)
  • Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park (Sonoma County)
  • Austin Creek State Recration Area (Sonoma County)
  • Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park (Napa County)
  • Tomales Bay State Park (Marin County)
  • Olompali State Historic Park (Marin County)
  • Samuel P. Taylor State Park (Marin County)
  • China Camp State Park (Marin County)
  • Benecia State Recreation Area (Solano County)
  • Benecia Capitol State Historic Park (Solano County)
  • Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (San Francisco County)
  • Gray Whale Cove State Beach (San Mateo County)
  • Portola Redwoods State Park (Santa Cruz County)
  • Castle Rock State Park (Santa Clara County)
  • Henry W. Coe State Park (Santa Clara County)
  • Moss Landing State Beach (Santa Cruz County)
  • Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park (Santa Cruz County)

Other Notable Closures:

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
  • Castle Crags State Park
  • Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
  • Garrapata State Park
  • Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
  • Hendy Woods State Park
  • Limekiln State Park
  • Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
  • Salton Sea State Recreation Area
  • Russian Gulch State Park


  1. Honestly I find it hard to believe someone won't step in and save the tufa (or other parks for that matter). Part of me feels like a number of these cuts have targeted the core mission's of several large non-profits hoping to get money, or one of them to take over the park outright. Nothing substantiates that though.

  2. Chris, this is just horrible. I will say that here in Arkansas we have trail associations that handle the maintenance on the Ozark Highlands and Ouachita trails. It's not too much of a stretch to create a movement like Adopt-a-Hike. If YOU were responsible for maint. on a trail section nearby, you would find time to keep your 5 miles in good shape. For projects bigger than downed tree removal, there would only need to be a parent organization to ramrod erosion issues and such. My heart goes out to Californians in this tough time.

  3. I don't know about the state park system but certainly many local open space districts in the state have long taken advantage of volunteers to help maintain trail systems. Some of the back woods in Henry Coe State Park for example though take a 2 day hike in to reach and others like Castle Crags & Del Norte Coast Redwoods are several hours from a major population center (actually like 7).