For Great Views, Hiking, Biking, Camping and much more, Check Out China Camp State Park
China Camp State Park in Marin County is one of the Bay Area’s best places to get away from it all. Although fairly close to San Francisco, across the Bay and north near San Rafael, it doesn’t draw as many visitors as other Bay Area state parks, which is just fine with the locals who love hiking, biking, camping and exploring this beautiful place. China Camp draws its name from an old Chinese shrimp-fishing village located on San Pablo Bay, which provided shrimp to most of the Chinatowns in the U.S., as well as exporting many tons to China. Today, there are many vestiges of this once-thriving community from a junk anchored just offshore to a visitor’s center inside a weathered old warehouse full of old artifacts and exhibits explaining the history of the camp and the area.
If you’re the type of person who loves to get outdoors, observe nature and get some exercise, here are some samples of the many things to see, do and experience in this park:
- Hiking –
The trails here are considered moderate. Some feature fairly easy elevation changes but most are good for inexperienced hikers and those with strollers and small children. The trails cross the park in many directions but most eventually lead hikers down to the old camp near the water.
- Biking –
Bikers love China camp for the same reasons hikers do: easy terrain and modest increases/decreases in elevation. That said, bikers need to be mindful to watch their speeds near hikers and make sure to call out “On your left (or right)!) when approaching hikers from behind to avoid collisions.
- Camping –
All the campsites at China Camp are hike-in, tent camping only sites. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Campers need to carry all equipment for the 50 to 300 yard walk to the campsites from the parking lots. Eight campers are allowed per site. Check-in time is 2 p.m. or later and check-out time is noon.
- Swimming –
If you have a strong enough constitution (or a good enough wetsuit) to withstand the chilly temperatures of San Pablo Bay, the swimming here is quite fun. The truly intrepid can take a shot at swimming around Rat Rock Island but swimmers should also know and be mindful of the signs of hypothermia before they get too far offshore.
- Picnicking –
China Camp has lots of great places to enjoy a picnic and survey the Bay, the trees, the wildlife and boats on the water. On especially clear days, picnickers may wish to hike up to Patrick’s Point to get a chance at seeing the ever-elusive “five bridges view.”
If a day or a weekend at China Camp State Park sounds like your idea of a good time, getting there is fairly easy no matter which mode of transportation you prefer, but when you choose Nationwide Limousine Service, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! For more information, visit the park’s official site at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=466, or call us today at 800-339-8936 for rental rates & reservations!