California State Parks

March 20th, 2008

Our Spring break vacation this year took us back to Murphys, CA and an exploration of the California Gold country. We visited several state parks know either for their historic significance or natural beauty.

We started outside Sacramento at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. Here James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River. We walked along the river and viewed a replica of the sawmill Marshall and his partner were building when they discovered gold.


The next day we visited Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Located in Jamestown, it has steam trains and an authentic roundhouse. Mike, being as engineer, was especially intrigued by the tour of the trains and roundhouse and all the information about how the trains operated. This site has also been the home of many TV shows and movies including “Petticoat Junction,” “The Wild, Wild West,” “High Noon,” “The Virginian,” and the railroad portion of “Back to the Future Part III.”


The next day we visited Columbia State Historic Park, a preserved California gold rush town.


Everyone enjoyed the candy store the most, but the girls also enjoyed playing on the large boulders on the outskirts of town.

On the way home we stopped at Caswell Memorial State Park. The park is located along the Stanislaus River and protects the declining riparian oak woodland, which once flourished throughout California’s Central Valley.


One comment to “California State Parks”

  1. What an amazing trip, Denise. Gotta love a vacation that also involves learning and history. 🙂

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