The public is invited to celebrate the first annual California State Parks Week, June 14-18, presented by California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, Parks California and the California State Parks Foundation.
Through special community events and in-person and virtual programming, this inaugural event celebrates California’s 279 state parks and the people who visit and help protect these iconic places. A complete list of the week’s events and how to participate are available at CAStateParksWeek.org.
“State Parks is excited to welcome the first-ever California State Parks Week, which celebrates the oldest state park system in the nation,” said Armando Quintero, director of California State Parks. “California’s state parks are as unique and diverse as the state itself. They help preserve and protect the state’s natural and cultural history for generations to come. I hope this week gives everyone a chance to visit the outdoors, enjoy its beauty and find their own connection with California’s great outdoors.”
California State Parks Week is modeled after National Park Week, and it helps advance the “Outdoor Access For All” initiative as well as the recently launched “California Outdoors For All” initiative. This initiative expands outdoor access to all Californians through focused investments in open space infrastructure and outdoor programming, with a priority of expanding access in underserved communities.
Why California State Parks Week?
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to California’s communities, but it also illuminated the important connection of the outdoors to our physical and mental well-being. Parks across the U.S. experienced increased visitation in 2020-21, and California State Parks Week underscores the important role parks play in communities statewide.
“As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we are excited to celebrate California’s resilience and expand access to so many joyful experiences and benefits of nature through California State Parks Week,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League. “It is inspiring to see how California’s state park system has grown over generations. The parks encompass not only the state’s most iconic landscapes, but also the diversity of our people, cultural experiences and moments of joy to be found along thousands of miles of trails.”
California State Parks protects the best of the state’s natural and cultural history; more than 340 miles of coastline; the tallest, largest and among the oldest trees in the world; and deserts, lakes, rivers and beaches. Across 279 parks statewide there are more than 5,200 miles of trails, 15,000 campsites, prehistoric and historic archeological sites, ghost towns, historic homes and monuments — all waiting to be explored.
“California State Parks Week is a fun and inclusive way to celebrate the wonder and sense of community that the outdoors provides to the people of California and visitors from all over the world,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, president and CEO of Parks California.
California State Parks Week Themed Days:
“Parks have been there for us in so many ways. As we recognize the partners, volunteers, state parks staff and many others who make California’s state park system the gem it is today, there is so much to celebrate! The themes for each day bring all those contributions into focus,” said Rachel Norton, executive director of California State Parks Foundation.
Tuesday, Jun 14: Land Acknowledgement Day
On Land Acknowledgement Day, we will elevate, honor and celebrate the Indigenous voices and stories that are rooted in traditional Native lands. View all events.
- Featured: Honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the North Coast
State Park interpreters and tribal members will share the importance of honoring the Indigenous peoples who have lived on the North Coast since time immemorial. Join online via Facebook Live at 10 a.m.
- Featured: My Fun Future in the Outdoors!
From 9-11 a.m. at Cardiff (Seaside) State Beach in San Diego, State Park employees will share some of their favorite reasons to work in parks. Join in person at the park or online via Facebook Live.
Thursday, June 16: Health and Wellness Day
Spending time outdoors is critical to health and well-being. On Health and Wellness Day, we invite you to explore a park near you and learn about organizations, events and activities that can continue to inspire you every day. View all events.
- Featured: Guided Lava Bluffs Trail Hike
Hike across a volcanic formation at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This 2.5-mile, 2- to 3-hour moderate-strenuous hike starts at 9:30 a.m.
Friday, June 17: Stewardship Day
On Stewardship Day, discover the various land and habitat management activities that safeguard the wide diversity of plants and animals in the parks, and learn how to get involved. View all events.
- Featured: Historic Sites Preservation Tours
Tour of some of the oldest buildings in California at Monterey State Historic Park. Starts at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.
Saturday, June 18: Partnership Day / Volunteer Day
On Partnership Day / Volunteer Day, learn about the important roles that businesses, nonprofits and other partners play in stewarding the California State Park System, and find out how you can get involved. View all events.
- Featured: Science Day and StoryWalk
Learn about butterflies with hands-on educational activities, or take a stroll while reading an illustrated children’s book from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area.