Friday, March 16, 2012

Castle Rock State Park saved from closure list

Castle Rock State Park will be removed from the state's closure list. Under a deal reported by the San Jose Mercury News, the popular park, which sits atop the ridgeline of the Santa Cruz Mountains on the Santa Clara-Santa Cruz county line, will receive a $250,000 donation -- enough to keep it open for another year -- from the Sempervirens Fund, a nonprofit conservation group in Los Altos.

Along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park 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 popular with rock climbers. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking and horseback riding 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. Primitive campsites for backpackers are the only overnight facilities.

Specifics about Castle Rock staffing levels and operating hours are still being worked out between state officials and the Sempervirens Fund. But when finalized, the arrangement will bring to 10 the number of state parks saved from closure. Read the full article in the Mercury News.

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