Magazine article Sunset

In Northern California, Eight More Don't-Miss State Parks. (Best State Parks)

Magazine article Sunset

In Northern California, Eight More Don't-Miss State Parks. (Best State Parks)

Article excerpt

NEAR SAN FRANCISCO ANGEL ISLAND STATE PARK

Fishing

Guided tours/living history

This verdant island in the middle of San Francisco Bay has been a Civil War camp, an immigrant quarantine station, a World War II base, and a Nike missile site. Accessed by ferry, the island offers miles of hiking and biking trails, picnicking spots, and even campsites with unbeatable views.

WHERE: Angel Island can be reached by ferry from San Francisco, Tiburon, Vallejo, and Alameda.

WHEN: Year-round.

COST: $2 per person.

CAMPING: 9 primitive sites from $7; (800) 444-7275.

FYI: No dogs. Historic tours Sat-Sun.

CONTACT: (415) 435-1915

www.parks.ca.gov.

NEAR SANTA CRUZ ANO NUEVO STATE RESERVE

Guided tours/living history

Flanked by dunes and beaches, Ano Nuevo Point is the winter home for thousands of northern elephant seals, with bulls staging dramatic fights for breeding rights. There are also thousands of shorebirds, sea lions, and harbor seals on the reserve's 4,000 wild acres.

WHERE: 20 miles north of Santa Cruz off State 1.

WHEN: Year-round.

COST: $2 per car; $4 tours.

FYI: Elephant seal tours Dec 15-Mar 31. Reserve well in advance; (800) 444-4445.

CONTACT: (650) 879-0227

www.parks.ca.gov.

NEAR ST. HELENA BOTHE-NAPA VALLEY STATE PARK

Horse trails

Guided tours/living history

In the heart of Napa Valley, this small park is often overlooked by visitors who tour the partially restored mill at neighboring Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. From Ritchey Canyon, with its forested slopes of Douglas fir, tan oak, and madrone, you can hike up Coyote Peak.

WHERE: 5 miles north of St. Helena off State 29/128.

WHEN: Year-round.

COST: $2 per car.

CAMPING: 50 sites from $12; (800) 444-7275.

CONTACT: (707) 942-4575

www.parks.ca.gov.

NEAR MORGAN HILL HENRY W. COE STATE PARK

Horse trails

Fishing

Guided tours/living history

In spring, a stunning wildflower display fills the meadows here. Known for its rugged canyons, expansive rolling hills of oak woodlands, and healthy population of tarantulas, the 87,000-acre park offers more than 250 miles of trails.

WHERE: 13 miles east of Morgan Hill on East Dunne Ave.

WHEN: Year-round; hot in summer.

COST: $2 per car.

CAMPING: 20 sites from $7; (800) 444-7275.

CONTACT: (408) 779-2728

www.coepark.org.

NEAR GARBERVILLE HUMBOLDT REDWOODS STATE PARK

Wheelchair-accessible trails

Canoeing/kayaking/rowing

Horse trails

Guided tours/living history

California's largest redwood park is home to the aweinspiring Rockefeller Forest, which contains hundreds of towering 1,000-year-old redwoods in its never-logged groves. …

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