California Is Getting a New State Park for the First Time in 13 Years

And it's just over an hour from San Francisco.

California is ready to welcome visitors to a new state park, the first in more than a decade, according to the governor's office.

The new park, which will sit on a 2,500-acre property at Dos Rios Ranch near Modesto, will be the first new California state park in 13 years, the governor's office tweeted. The property, which is expected to be transferred to the state over about a year, will be reachable from San Francisco in just over an hour.

The confluence of the San Joaquin River, left, and Tuolumne River, right, along the Dos Rios Ranch Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 in Modesto, CA.
The confluence of the San Joaquin River, left, and Tuolumne River, right, along the Dos Rios Ranch Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 in Modesto, CA. Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

"Sometime in 2023, there will be early access to the public," State Parks Director Armando Quintero told the Los Angeles Times. "We have to do an archaeological survey and ensure we're not disturbing any Native American sites or anything like that… There is going to be a fair amount of planning that goes in before we bring in sustainable infrastructure there."

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland West Coast
Andrea Pistolesi/Getty Images

When it's finished, the new park will feature fishing and swimming opportunities on two different rivers, the San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers, as well as visitor facilities. California's Gov. Gavin Newsom has put aside $5 million for the park.

"We strongly believe that everyone deserves to have close-to-home access to vibrant parks," Quintero told the paper, adding, "In a way, it is a walk back in time to a gentle valley. It is one of those places where people will visit and say, 'Oh, my goodness, this is where I live.' That's my hope."

He added: "During COVID, people were hungry for these outdoor spaces… We are always keeping an eye on what could be next."

Aerial view of Dos Rios Ranch in San Joaquin Valley, California
Courtesy of River Partners

In total, the California Department of Parks and Recreation runs 279 state parks and 15,000 campsites as well as more than 3,100 historic buildings and more than 11,000 known prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, according to the department.

In addition to state parks, California has several gorgeous national parks, including the popular Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park as well as less developed gems like Channel Islands National Park.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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