Much of the attention over state parks closures has focused on a few popular spots, but there are many others around the North Bay that are also shutting down by next summer. And some have already trimmed their hours significantly, so if you’re looking for a new, but close to home, outing on a pleasant fall day, it may be time to get moving.
East of Petaluma on Adobe Road, Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park provides a glimpse into the life of a working ranch from the 1830s. Visitors can see Adobe Creek and a mix of native and imported plants. A self-guided tour takes about an hour.
Due to budget cutbacks, Petaluma Adobe is now open only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, although there are occasional special events on Saturdays.
In Marin County, China Camp’s picnic areas will be closed starting Nov. 1 and its campground areas are limited to weekends. A broad loop of the park takes about 12 miles although there are shorter segments.
Nearby, Olompali State Historic Park, a small jewel just west of 101 north of Novato, will start seeing service reductions next week. The park, which includes a mountain trail, will be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Two Marin County parks that often get overlooked by the popularity of Point Reyes are Samuel P. Taylor State Park and Tomales Bay State Park. Both are seeing reductions in access to campgrounds, picnic areas and beach parking areas. Short coastal trails are worthwhile excursions at both.
Heading north? Mendocino County boasts 22 different state recreation spots, but seven of them are on the chopping block.
Consider a visit to Hendy Woods, one of the most scenic spots around for spotting coastal redwoods without being shrouded in fog. It’s a bit past swimming season, but canoeing and kayaking chances abound on the Navarro River.
To the west, two of Napa County’s three state parks are on the chopping block. Bothe-Napa Valley has climbs that provide spectacular St. Helena overlook views. And if you’ve never seen a 36-foot-tall water wheel, make your way to Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. But only on weekends.
How about a North Bay park unaffected by the closures and a bit off the beaten path? Head to the south edge of Clear Lake, home of Anderson Marsh, a small but fertile marshy park with plenty of Native American remnants, unusual bird-sighting opportunities and ridge-top views.