First of all, I am really quite embarrassed by my lack of state park posts. We did visit quite a few parks last summer, but once I started graduate school in the fall we were no longer able to see as many. I neglected to really post any blogs at all, but hopefully I’ll get a few done here in the next few weeks.
Most of the 70 state parks scheduled to close will be still be closing by this summer. A handful have been saved, either through private partnerships or being taken over by another park system (national, county, or city). Hopefully more parks will be able to stay open at least on a limited basis in this way. I would highly encourage you to support the California State Parks Foundation, or at least to go to their site if you’re interested in finding out more.
Over Memorial Day weekend last year, we went down to Escondido to see San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park. For such a small park, this one is really great. The visitor center has excellent exhibits, beautiful views, and a short yet very informative video about the Mexican-American War. Travis and I felt much better about ourselves as California citizens after watching this; we realized as we went in the visitor center that we really knew nothing about that war. The person staffing the visitor center was incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the area.
The park has a nice quarter mile nature trail as well as a longer (one mile I believe) trail. However, when we visited, the longer trail had not been maintained in a while, and we were advised not to try it. I don’t know whether or not this is still true, but I would assume that it is, due to the ongoing budget issues.
At any rate, I highly recommend this park. It is basically next door to the San Diego Wild Animal Park in Escondido and is currently still open on Saturdays and Sundays.