Best State Parks in California

Authored by Robin Raven in California 
Published on 10-23-2009

California is the third-largest state in the United States, and its land is varied, providing a great assortment of state parks for its residents and visitors to enjoy. The parks offer a chance to be immersed in nature, taking one back to imagine a very different America and how it must have looked only a few centuries ago. State parks are especially nice to visit since the state government has a responsibility and duty to take care of its parks, keep them looking pristine and look out for the safety of those who come to the parks.

Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park

This historic state park also offers a museum and cottage. Joshua Cottage lies within the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park. It offers visitors a chance to try their hands at food grinding and processing techniques that the Native Americans enjoyed. Other aspects of the culture can be learned and experienced at this hands-on park. Some highlights of the park include a nature trail that visitors can explore independently. A picnic area invites you to stay the entire day, providing a place for a lunch break. The outdoor ceremonial area is also a sight to see. Native American groups sometimes perform traditional dances and stories at the park. Educational seminars are also held here.

Angel Island

Angel Island is a California State Park that sits in the midst of the San Francisco Bay. Its breathtaking views of the skyline and Mount Tamalpais may be the highlight of any visitor’s trip to the city. This state park and island is historically significant as well. It used to be a fishing and hunting sight for Coastal Miwok Native Americans tribe. It was once a post for the United States Army as well. There are two Coast Guard stations on the island, but it’s mostly kept for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. Since it became a state park in 1954, it’s been a popular destination for tourists. It’s not to be missed.

Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park

This state park is also in close proximity to the state’s capital. Since many Californians want to see the state’s own capital at some point, many people come near the Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park. It’s an important sight to see. While fishermen enjoy the park, it’s also a wonderful haven for those who want to simply enjoy nature without causing any destruction of the natural life in the park. The sights one can see while resting by the river are lovely. You may also opt to cruise the river in a canoe or kayak; both are readily available at the park since those are popular activities for visitors. Berries grow wild in the park, and there’s a healthy wildlife population.

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park

You will inevitably experience the natural beauty of California when you walk into the Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park. The bays are bright blue, and trees almost seem to meet the shorelines of Ja-She Creek, Crystal Springs, and Horr Pond. Lava flows cover over two-thirds of the area. The park is a wilderness area. You should always notify someone when going to this park with a specific time of departure and arrival. It’s also best to go with others. Stick to the trails if you want to play it safe.

In Closing

All of California’s state parks offer something special, but these parks let you experience some of life and nature in a way that will open your eyes and allow you to enjoy things you may not have imagined before.


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