Hearst San Simeon State Park

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Hearst San Simeon State Park
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Location San Luis Obispo County, California, USA
Nearest city San Simeon, California
Coordinates 35°35′01″N121°07′18″W / 35.58361°N 121.12167°W / 35.58361; -121.12167 Coordinates: 35°35′01″N121°07′18″W / 35.58361°N 121.12167°W / 35.58361; -121.12167
Area2,309 acres (934 ha)
Established1932
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Piedras Blancas State Marine Conservation Area and seal colony Piedras Blancas Seals.jpg
Piedras Blancas State Marine Conservation Area and seal colony
Tidepool at North Moonstone beach, in the southern part of the State Park. Giant Green anemones with black tegula snails. Green anemones with black tegulas (Tegula funebralis) SLO.jpg
Tidepool at North Moonstone beach, in the southern part of the State Park. Giant Green anemones with black tegula snails.

Hearst San Simeon State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving rocky coast and rare habitats. It is located between Cambria and San Simeon. The 3,409-acre (1,380 ha) park was first established in 1932. [1] The park includes the Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve, the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Pa-nu Cultural Preserve, which were established in 1990.

Contents

A 3.3-mile (5.3 km) trail runs through parts of the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Washburn Campground. The trail includes scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. A portion of the trail along the seasonal wetland is wheelchair accessible.

Santa Rosa Creek Preserve is an area that includes valuable riparian forests and coastal wetlands, which provide habitat for endangered tidewater goby.

San Simeon Natural Preserve consists of vast wetlands, riparian zones, and several undisturbed native plant communities, including unique mima mound topography. The Preserve is also the wintering site for monarch butterfly populations.

In 2005 an additional 1,100 acres (445 ha) of coastal lands were added to the state park following an easement agreement and property exchange with the neighboring Hearst Ranch. [2]

Prehistory

The 13.7-acre (55,000 m2) Pa-nu Cultural Preserve contains the most significant archeological site within Hearst San Simeon State Park. The site has been dated to 5850 years before the present, and it contains significant evidence documenting prehistoric technology, subsistence practices and social organization over the course of several centuries.

Prehistorically this entire general area of the central coast was inhabited by the Chumash people, who settled the coastal San Luis Obispo area approximately 10,000 to 11,000 BCE, including a large village to the south at Morro Creek. [3]

Nearby protected areas

Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument contains Hearst Castle. Cambria State Marine Conservation Area and White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area are marine protected areas offshore from San Simeon campground. Nearby ocean waters are also a part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where visitors can learn more at the Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay, located at Hearst Beach. A large elephant seal rookery is found on many beaches of Hearst San Simeon State Park. Adjacent to the northern stretches of the park are the Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve, and the Piedras Blancas Light Station.

See also

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Batiquitos Lagoon

The Batiquitos Lagoon is a coastal wetland and estuary located between southern Carlsbad and Encinitas, in the North County region of San Diego County, California. The lagoon itself consists of 610 acres with a drainage basin of about 55,000 acres. Its primary freshwater tributaries being San Marcos Creek from the east and Encinitas Creek which flows north along Green Valley, entering the lagoon under El Camino Real and La Costa Avenue, respectively. It is one of the few remaining tidal wetlands on the southern California coast.

Piedras Blancas Motel

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San Elijo Lagoon

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Piedras Blancas Light Station

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Rancho Santa Rosa was a 13,184-acre (53.35 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day San Luis Obispo County, California.

Rancho Piedra Blanca

Rancho Piedra Blanca was a large, 48,806-acre (197.51 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day San Luis Obispo County, California given in 1840 by Governor Juan Alvarado to José de Jesús Pico. The name means "white rock" and refers to rocks painted white by its bird population. The grant extended south along the Pacific Coast below Big Sur from Ragged Point to Pico Creek, where it adjoins Rancho San Simeon. The land grant includes the original townsite and post office for San Simeon, the Hearst Ranch headquarters, and Hearst Castle.

Rancho San Simeon was a 4,469-acre (18.09 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day San Luis Obispo County, California given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to José Ramón Estrada. The grant extended along the Pacific Coast from Rancho Piedra Blanca at Pico Creek, south along the coast to San Simeon Creek, and includes the present-day townsite of San Simeon Acres.

Cambria State Marine Conservation Area

Cambria State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area located off the coast of the city of Cambria, California on California’s central coast in San Luis Obispo County, California. The marine protected area covers 6.26 square miles (16.2 km2). Within the SMCA recreational fishing and take is allowed while commercial fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Piedras Blancas State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that lie offshore of San Luis Obispo County on California’s central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 19.68 square miles (51.0 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon and albacore.

White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area

White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a marine protected area located off the coast of the city of Cambria, California on California’s central coast. The marine protected area covers 2.32 square miles (6.0 km2). Within the SMCA the take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial take of giant kelp and bull kelp under certain conditions.

References

  1. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 30. Retrieved 2012-03-29.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. "Hearst Ranch Conservation Plan". California Resources Agency. Retrieved 2012-10-24.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Hogan, C. Michael (2008-02-25). "Morro Creek". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 2012-03-29.