26 January 2011

China Camp State Park: A Little Corner of Paradise

China Camp State Park is located near my hometown of Novato, in Marin County, CA. It is a beautful spead of bayside open space complete with marshes, hills, trees, trails for hiking and biking, and beautiful views of San Francisco and the bay area. Although only 25 minutes north of San Francisco, China Camp feels like a trip back to a more simple time in California's past.

China Camp is located on the eastern coast of Marin County, on the northern most reaches of the San Francisco Bay.

 This route forms a loop, connecting to highway 101 at both ends. Technically only a small portion of this route goes through the state park, but my friends and I refer to the whole drive as the 'China camp loop.' You can go either way on the drive, or do both ways to catch all the sights!

A view of the coast along San Francisco Bay. The waterfront marshland in this picture  is marked in the photo below.

Three points of reference in the area.

China Camp State Park sits on what was a fishing village populated primarily by Chinese migrants. At its heyday, it had around 500 residents and several general stores. The area is now preserved as a state park and makes an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. If you ever find yourself in Marin County, don't forget to stop by and check it out.

 Expect a slow, winding drive!! Small cars are more fun than big in this case. In a Honda Civic, I averaged around 18 KPH

 A few of the remaining structures of China Camp.

The section of road outlined in red in the main stretch of China camp State Park. Lots of parking, trail heads and beach access are available along this stretch.

The red section of road here runs mainly through populated areas. Great views of San Francisco over the water!

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