The California State Parks continues to slowly reopen parking lots across Northern California, with 20 recently opening up at 50 percent vehicle capacity. Now, officials have added the North Coast Redwoods District to that list, including all state parks in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino counties.
Parking lots to 20 California State Parks were beginning to open in the North Coast on May 21, although visitors center and campgrounds will remain closed. According to our count (which may be a little off, due to lack of announcements from California State Parks) the number of state parks open in NorCal currently sits at 40.
A slew of outdoor areas and campsites have been reopening recently, including many areas in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Tahoe National Forest, following month’s of closure due to the Coronavirus. While all but 36 California State Parks are currently open, the parking lots have been closed to encourage only local visitors in the areas.
Park officials are currently encouraging people to stay in their counties and not travel for outdoor recreation.
“We are still telling people to stay close to home,” said Gloria Sandoval, deputy director of California’s state parks department. “It’s important for everybody to do their part to help mitigate the spread of the virus.”
Here is a complete list of state parks open in Northern California:
Lake Oroville State Recreation Area
Del Norte County
Del Norte Coast Redwoods
Jedediah Smith Redwoods
El Dorado County
Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park
Emerald Bay State Park
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (also in Sacramento and Placer counties)
Lake Valley State Recreation Area
Washoe Meadows State Park
Grizzly Creek Redwoods
Prairie Creek Redwoods
Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area
Navarro River Redwoods
Point Cabrillo Light Station
Donner Memorial State Park
Auburn State Recreation Area
Kings Beach State Recreation Area
Santa Cruz County
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Wilder Ranch State Park
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Austin Creek State Recreation Area
Jack London State Historic Park
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Trione-Annadel State Park
Columbia State Historic Park
Here are some new visitor guidelines State Parks has implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
- Plan Ahead – With 280 park units in the state park system, visitors are advised to visit the webpage of their local outdoor destination before leaving home to find out if it is open, what new visitor guidelines are in effect and if parking is available.
- Stay Local – Stay close to home. Parking is temporarily very limited or non-existent at park units across the state. Walk or bike to parks in your local neighborhood. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
- Leave it at Home – The use of coolers, umbrellas, shade tents, BBQs or chairs is not allowed in many park units. Plan ahead.
- Keep it Moving – Passive recreation (lounging, picnics, sunbathing, etc.) is being restricted where physical distance is a challenge. In those areas, only active recreation (walking, running, biking, boating, kayaking, off-highway riding, etc.) will be allowed. Also, observe one-way trails where they are in place.
- Stay Safer at 6ft — No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
- Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine