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Located in the heart of California is a river valley just a 20-minute drive out of Modesto. The area is known as Dos Rios Ranch, which was once a heavily farmed and flood-prone valley. The river valley has undergone years of restoration in hopes that it can once again be the home and bastion to wildlife that it had once been.

The state of California is finally ready to unveil its first new state park in over a decade, and it has chosen the site of Dos Rios Ranch. At some point in 2023, locals, as well as travelers, will be able to enjoy the incredible beauty of California's newest state park.

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California Is Set To Open A New National Park For The First Time In A Decade

For the first time in 13 years, California is ready to establish a new state park. The land is known as Dos Rios Ranch, a 2,500-acre property that is planned to be donated to the California State Park System by River Partners. River Partners is a non-profit that rehabilitates and rewilds land that has dealt with years of use as farmland.

California already boasts a plethora of natural wonders. The state is home to redwood trees, 300 miles of coastline, the greatest diversity of natural parks in the country, and thousands of historic and prehistoric archeological sites. Adding Dos Rios Ranch to the list of natural parks adds a chance for the state to do a bit more to protect wildlife while also allowing public access to incredible natural locations.

  • Size - 2,500 acres
  • Opening Date - 2023
  • State Investment - $5 million
  • Google Maps

What Opening This Park Does For California’s Environment

Dos Rios Ranch Preserve is the largest floodplain restoration project in California’s history. The preserve was a former flood-prone farm. Now, they are opening up the river system, giving them the freedom to flow naturally. The hope is that this restoration project will help the preserve to improve flood safety, recharge underground aquifers, and give endangered species like salmon the habitat they need to survive.

Related: 10 Things To Do In Stunning Monterey, California

Restoring The Floodplain And Public Attention

Restoring the natural functions of the rivers as well as the floodplain itself will help restore the habitat for many of the at-risk wildlife, such as salmon, monarch butterflies, and migratory birds, who all take shelter at Dos Rios Ranch. However, one major part of protecting this environment comes from public support. By opening the preserve as a natural park, the public will gain access, and they will be able to form a relationship with the land. Once the park does finally go public, local residents and travelers are able to enjoy hiking on trails, fishing, paddling on the river, and eventually, camping under riparian forests of oaks and cottonwoods.

The recreational spaces, outdoor activities, and campsites will allow travelers to immerse themselves in the beautifully restored piece of land. Those traveling to the river valley will have the incredible opportunity to experience the land as it was before farming spread across the area.

  • Years of Restoration - 10 years
  • Animals Protected - salmon, monarch butterflies, rabbits, wood rats, and migratory birds

What Will Dos Rios Ranch Preserve Offer Guests

Dos Rios Ranch Preserve will offer a variety of ways for travelers to experience the park. They will have the chance to explore both by land and by water. And if travelers wish to, they may even be able to stay the night. Through these recreational activities and the scenic beauty of the park, appreciation will be quickly built for this future park.

Related: 10 Beautiful California Islands You Need To Visit

Hiking and Biking

When the park opens, miles and miles of hiking and biking trails will become available to the public. The result will be many people being allowed to interact and form a connection with what was once private land. With so many trails to discover around the rivers, hikers and bikers will be eager to check out these new trails.

Day-Tripping and Camping

The park will also offer overnight camping and day-use areas for individuals and groups. This newly opened waterside land will incite day-trippers and overnight campers to visit and spend time in this new park. With the rivers and land to explore here, campers and day-trippers will find much to fill their time with here once the park opens up.

Fishing and Non-Motorized Boating

With the incredible amount of river life that thrives at Dos Rios Ranch, there is no doubt that fishers will be drawn to the area. With miles of shoreline, there will be many fishing holes to discover. Non-motorized boating will also be allowed. Those wishing to venture out on the water can feel free to do so with a kayak, canoe, or another non-motorized craft. Also, a friendly reminder to bring a California finishing license for travelers who wish to go fishing.