California’s state parks make up the most diverse natural, cultural, and recreational park system in the nation. Our 280 state parks encompass 1.5 million acres and include 320 miles of coastline, 625 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and over 4,500 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. The landscapes range from pristine coastlines, to ancient redwood forests, to expansive deserts. Classified as parks, reserves, state beaches, recreation areas, vehicular recreation areas, points of interest, historic parks, or historic monuments, these places showcase California’s nature, culture, and history. The California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) manages this extensive park system, which attracts millions of visitors each year.
To find a park and start exploring, visit DPR's website.
The Magnificent 70 is a celebration of 70 California state parks slated to close July 2012, and a reminder of what will be lost if they are shuttered. On this site you can discover a stagecoach stop on the El Camino Real, now surrounded by a city, or a mountain where a Silicon Valley pioneer first measured the earth’s magnetism. There are historic buildings where Northerners and Southerners battled for control of California before the Civil War, where a suffragette was married to a pioneer with two Native American wives, where a buckskinned hunter entertained troops with a mule-skull fiddle, and where an anti-capitalist crusader and Ronald Reagan both lived.
The Hidden Stories Series is one of California State Parks Foundation’s newest programs, and is aimed at telling the stories of varying groups that have contributed to California’s rich history in its 280 magnificent state parks. The Series, began in 2009, is designed to be implemented over a two year cycle: in year #1, a conference is held that focuses on a particular group’s stories, and in year #2, programmatic recommendations stemming from the conference are launched. In short, over the two-year cycle, hidden stories are discovered, told and thereby uncovered and shared with the public.
Our annual awards ceremony honors individuals, corporations, or organizations for their contributions of leadership, time, and/or financial resources to protecting and enhancing state parks and the California environment.
In light of the changing landscape of California's state parks, the CalPark Voices blog is meant to be a voice for our parks and for those who cherish them. Check in often for new stories by the plethora of voices that together make up the magnificent California state parks system.
At our annual ParkFilm Fest, we watch and celebrate a few of the famous movies that have been filmed in California's state parks. 2012 was a movie marathon of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. We had a great crowd, and many special guests, including various actors from the films who did a Q&A and signed autographs. Proceeds from the event support the work of CSPF.