Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

The parks seem to be safe for the time being, but we’re still trying to visit the last few we didn’t get to. This week it’s the Governor’s Mansion SHP in Sacramento, last occupied by the Reagan family.


link: Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park Official Site

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Traveling around the state to visit each of these parks, I don’t always have the time to wait for the perfect light and weather, but sometimes you just get lucky.


link: Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park Official Site

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is perhaps best known as the site where the forest moon of Endor scenes for Return of the Jedi were filmed. For myself, I used my visit to this beautiful place to try a little creative experiment. I have long felt it would be fun to try photographing a redwood forest with a fisheye lens.

I was right.


link: Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park Official Site

Fort Humboldt State Historic Park

The grounds at Fort Humboldt State Historic Park contain a great collection of steam donkeys, including the largest ever built. The museum was closed and there was no staff, so we didn’t really get much sense of historical context, but we did meet a really sweet old dog.


link: Fort Humboldt State Historic Park Official Site

Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park

Weaverville Joss House is one of the most surprising and unusual historic parks we have visited. A beautiful Taoist temple used by Chinese immigrants during the gold rush and railroad years, this is one of the best-preserved pieces of Chinese American heritage in California. Best fact we learned: the arched bridges and partially-blocked doorways thwart evil spirits, who can only travel in straight lines.


link: Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park Official Site

Castle Crags State Park

Castle Crags State Park has already closed its gates to traffic, but intrepid visitors can still enter the park on foot to explore the breathtaking Cascade Mountain wilderness.


link: Castle Crags State Park Official Site

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is a quiet place in a busy world.


link: Anderson Marsh State Historic Park Official Site

George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area contains a small section of the wooded bank of the Merced River. There may be more dramatic views of these same waters as they flow through Yosemite Valley several hundred miles away, but by the time the waters of the Merced reach Hatfield on a warm summer day, the gentle current flows at the perfect temperature for a swim.


link: George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area Official Site

McConnell State Recreation Area

I didn’t spend much time photographing McConnell State Recreation Area. We were much too busy frolicking in the cool waters of the Merced River and then drying off in the warm summer sun, but I managed to get a few shots before we left.


link: McConnell State Recreation Area Official Site

Turlock Lake State Recreation Area

Turlock Lake State Recreation Area is exactly what its name implies: a small lake that is perfectly suited for recreation. It’s a great spot for swimming, fishing, boating, or just a picnic.


link: Turlock Lake State Recreation Area Official Site