|Castle Rock State Park|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
|Location||Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties, California, USA|
|Nearest city||Los Gatos, California|
|Area||5,242 acres (2,121 ha)|
|Operator||California Department of Parks and Recreation|
Castle Rock State Park is a 5,242-acre (2,121 ha) state park of California, USA, located along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and almost entirely in Santa Cruz County, with parts extending into Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. It embraces coast redwood, Douglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The park is named after a sandstone formation called Castle Rock. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles (51 km) of hiking trails. These trails are part of an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific Coast. Due to its overnight parking lot, Castle Rock is a popular starting point for the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a 30-mile (48 km) trail that begins near by at Saratoga Gap and leads to Waddell Beach north of Santa Cruz. There are two walk-in campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking.
The entrance to Castle Rock State Park is located on California State Route 35 (Skyline Boulevard) 2.6 miles (4.2 km) southeast of the junction with State Route 9. The park is adjacent to Sanborn County Park (across State Route 35) and the Los Altos Rod and Gun Club Range.
Castle Rock State Park is suitable for many activities. There are two walk-in campgrounds for overnight hikers, many trails for day-hikes, rock climbing routes, and picnic areas. Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in the campgrounds, and horses allowed only on designated trails.
The park was established in 1968.
Under Governor Jerry Brown's 2011 budget proposal this park was going to close. This would have meant that visitors couldn't enter the park, and rangers would no longer staff the park.
California Assembly Bill 42 was signed into law on October 5, 2011. This bill allows state parks to enter into operating agreements with non-profit organizations.The Portola and Castle Rock Foundation has been formed to help support Portola and Castle Rock State Parks.
On March 14, 2012 the park was removed from the state park closure list for a one-year reprieve based on a $250,000 donation by the Sempervirens Fund.
The San Francisco Peninsula is a peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area that separates San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. On its northern tip is the City and County of San Francisco. Its southern base is in northern Santa Clara County, including the cities of Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Altos. Most of the Peninsula is occupied by San Mateo County, between San Francisco and Santa Clara counties, and including the cities and towns of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, El Granada, Foster City, Hillsborough, Half Moon Bay, La Honda, Loma Mar, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Woodside.
The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central and northern California, United States. They form a ridge down the San Francisco Peninsula, south of San Francisco. They separate the Pacific Ocean from the San Francisco Bay and the Santa Clara Valley, and continue south to the Central Coast, bordering Monterey Bay and ending at the Salinas Valley. The range passes through the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey, with the Pajaro River forming the southern boundary.
Limekiln State Park is a state park of California, United States, on the Big Sur coast. It contains four lime kilns from an 1887–1890 lime-calcining operation, plus a beach, redwood forest, and 100-foot (30 m) Limekiln Falls. It is located 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Lucia on State Route 1. The 711-acre (288 ha) park was established in 1994.
Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council (#055), the result of a council merger between the Santa Clara County Council and the Monterey Bay Area Council, is a Boy Scouts of America council headquartered in San Jose, California. In 2004, the previous two councils served over 11,000 youth in over 400 Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout packs, Venturing crews, and Explorer posts. In 2012, the Monterey Bay Area Council announced that after 89 years as a separate council, it had agreed to merge back into the Santa Clara County Council. As of 2013, the council served 13,000 youth in four different counties.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of California, located in Santa Cruz County, about 36 km (22 mi) northwest of Santa Cruz. The park contains almost all of the Waddell Creek watershed, which was formed by the seismic uplift of its rim, and the erosion of its center by the many streams in its bowl-shaped depression.
The Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail is a 29.5-mile (47.2-kilometre) hiking trail that descends from the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California to the Pacific Ocean, passing through Castle Rock State Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Big Basin is California's oldest state park. It contains beautiful waterfalls and some of the largest, tallest, and oldest Redwood forests left in existence.
State Route 35, generally known as Skyline Boulevard for most of its length, is a mostly two-lane state highway in the U.S. state of California. It runs along the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains from the low point of State Route 17 near Lexington Reservoir in Santa Clara County to State Route 1 just south of Daly City in San Mateo County, where it crosses SR 1 and loops around Lake Merced to become Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. SR 35 then continues along Sloat Boulevard until it reaches its terminus when it meets SR 1 again at 19th Avenue.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving mainly forest and riparian areas in the watershed of the San Lorenzo River, including a grove of old-growth coast redwood. It is located in Santa Cruz County, primarily in the area between the cities of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, near the community of Felton and the University of California at Santa Cruz. The park includes a non-contiguous extension in the Fall Creek area north of Felton. The 4,623-acre (1,871 ha) park was established in 1954.
Portola Redwoods State Park is a 2800-acre state park in Northern California situated in San Mateo County. The parks' primary watercourses - Peters Creek, Pescadero Creek and their associated tributaries -converge at Portola Redwoods State Park. Tip Toe Falls is a small waterfall along Fall Creek, a tributary of Pescadero Creek.
Uvas Canyon County Park is a 1,147-acre (464 ha) natural park located in upper Uvas Canyon on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Morgan Hill, California. The park has several small waterfalls, some of which flow perennially, that feed into tributaries confluent with Uvas Creek. The park is part of the Santa Clara County Parks System, and facilitates picnics, hiking and overnight camping. It is one of the few parks in the area that allows dogs in the campgrounds.
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is a regional park located in San Mateo County, California and operated by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). It is readily identifiable from the flatlands of the South Bay, as it is the only "naked" part of the peninsula range.
Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve, which includes Waddell Marsh, is located at the mouth of Waddell Creek, a coastal freshwater marsh that is one of the rarest habitats on the Central Coast of California. This marsh is one of the few relatively undisturbed bodies of fresh water left along the West coast. The land is 23 acres of wetland habitat. It is part of the Rancho del Oso Big Basin Redwoods State Park, located approximately 65 miles south of San Francisco. The elevation in the park ranges from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The area was named after William W. Waddell, who established the last of his four sawmills there in 1868. The sawmill ran down after his death in 1875. All the boilers were left in the area; they are now completely surrounded by second-growth redwoods. Other trees found in the park are conifers, and oaks. Within the park there are different vegetation types to be seen, such as chaparral, redwood forests, and riparian habitats.
Sempervirens Fund, originally established in 1900 as Sempervirens Club, is California's oldest land trust. Founder Andrew P. Hill’s goal was to preserve the old-growth forest that became Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the first California state park in 1902. Sempervirens Fund's mission is to protect and permanently preserve coast redwood forests, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and other important natural features of California's Santa Cruz Mountains, and to encourage people to appreciate and enjoy this environment. Sempervirens Fund does this by purchasing land for protection and transferring it to state or local agencies. Sempervirens Fund has also worked to establish conservation easements and trail linkages between parks and coastal marine preserves. As of 2013, Sempervirens Fund has saved more than 34,000 acres of redwood lands.
Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve is a 1540-acre regional park located near Saratoga Gap in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Santa Clara County, California. The preserve is owned and operated by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The preserve contains about 2 miles (3 km) of hiking trails, which are open to equestrians and bicycles.
Sanborn County Park is a 3,453 acres (13.97 km2) public park situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains owned by the county of Santa Clara, California, adjacent to Castle Rock State Park and the Los Altos Rod and Gun Club Range and Santa Clara County Peace Officers Association gun range. The park is managed by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. The park is heavily forested and offers hiking and other generally low intensity outdoor uses. The park lies between the town of Saratoga and the ridgetop road, Skyline Boulevard. In the summer months, Sanborn County Park hosts the only outdoor Shakespearean company in Silicon Valley.
One of the six Boy Scouts of America councils that serves the San Francisco Bay area, the Pacific Skyline Council was founded in 1940 as the Stanford Area Council (#031). In 1994, the Stanford Area Council merged with the San Mateo County Council (#020) to form the current council which serves youth in San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara county.
Wilder Ranch State Park is a California State Park on the Pacific Ocean coast north of Santa Cruz, California. The park was formerly a dairy ranch, and many of the ranch buildings have been restored for use as a museum. There are no campgrounds; a day-use parking lot provides access to the museum. Dogs are prohibited on the trails, but many trails allow bikes and/or horses. The long trails and ocean views make the area a favorite of hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. Public beaches continue to the north in Coast Dairies State Park.
The Phleger Estate is a park in San Mateo County, California. The park is located outside the town of Woodside and adjacent to Huddart County Park. The park was acquired in 1991 by the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) for $25 million and is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).
Mount Madonna is a prominent peak located near the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains in southwest Santa Clara County, California. The iconic landmark is surrounded by a county park, and is viewable along U.S. Route 101 in South Santa Clara Valley, and California State Route 152 near Watsonville in south Santa Cruz County.
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