If you’re tired of the Black Friday madness or you’ve never really been into it, then maybe you’ll like Green Friday. It’s a new Thanksgiving tradition that promotes the exploration and essence of California State Parks. Hosted by Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks, and the California State Park Foundation. A total of 116 state parks are participating in Green Friday which will distribute a total of 13,000 free vehicle day-use passes throughout.
So if you’re planning on shedding those Thanksgiving dinner pounds off with a hike, a walk on the beach, or taking a day trip through the redwoods, you better start making your plans now and reserve your day-use tickets here. For a full list of participants you can follow this link. The passes are limited, so make sure you find your park as quickly as possible to assure there are tickets still available. If you can’t decide, here are some of our favorite parks spread throughout all of California.
MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK
Covering over 4,000 acres is a California State Park that lies just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Southern California. The park which was once owned by Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan and 20th Century-Fox, features hiking, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding opportunities. There are over 30 miles of streamside trails through oak and sycamore woodlands and chaparral-covered slopes. The park’s volcanic rock makes the area a popular destination for climbers, and if you work up a sweat, a 60-foot-wide rock pool is ideal for wading. Twenty-five-mile Malibu Creek in the park is the principal water-course of the Santa Monica Mountains and the only creek that cuts entirely through the Santa Monica Mountains from north to south. The park was the center of Chumash Native American life for centuries and was once used to film numerous movies and TV shows.
HUMBOLDT REDWOODS STATE PARK
Contains Rockefeller Forest, the world’s largest remaining contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods. It is located 30 miles (48 km) south of Eureka, California, near Weott in southern Humboldt County, within Northern California, named after the great nineteenth-century scientist, Alexander von Humboldt. The park was established by the Save-the-Redwoods League in 1921 largely from lands purchased from the Pacific Lumber Company. Beginning with the dedication of the Raynal Bolling Memorial Grove, it has grown to become the third-largest park in the California State Park system, now containing 51,651 acres (20,902 ha) through acquisitions and gifts to the state.
RED ROCK CANYON STATE PARK
Features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converges with the El Paso Mountains. Each tributary canyon is unique, with vivid colors. After wet winters, the park’s floral displays are notable. Wildlife includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels.
Red Rock Canyon is an approximately 27,000 acres unit within the Mojave Sector of the Tehachapi District of the California State Park System, located along State Highway 14 in Kern County, about 80 miles east of Bakersfield and 25 miles north of Mojave. Red Rock Canyon provides magnificent views of the pristine desert landscape, includes two natural preserves, and offers, among other recreation activities, camping, sightseeing, equestrian activities, hiking, and opportunities for reflection and solitude.
CALIFORNIA CITRUS STATE PARK
Is an open-air museum in the state park system of California, USA, interpreting the historic cultural landscape of the citrus industry. The story of the citrus industry’s role in the history and development of California is told in the visitor center. The California Citrus State Historic Park is in Riverside, Riverside County, California, United States. The 248-acre park was established in 1915. This California State Historic Park recaptures the time when “Citrus was King” in California, especially the Navel orange from Riverside, and recognizing the importance of the citrus industry in Southern California.
RUSSIAN GULCH STATE PARK
The park features 7630 feet of rocky ocean shores; it is approximately 3/4 of a mile wide from north to south at its widest point, and extends for approximately three miles from east to west. Russian Gulch is crossed by California State Highway 1, which passes over the gulch on the Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge, a large concrete arch bridge constructed in 1940. The park entrance is on the west side of Highway 1, north of the bridge, and connects by a one-lane road under the bridge to the eastern part of the park. The smaller, western portion of the park consists largely of headlands with a blowhole and picnic areas, while the larger eastern portion of the park includes a campground, the park headquarters, and several trails for bicycles, hikers, and horses. A 2.5 mile hike from the trailhead at the east end of the campground to a 36-foot waterfall largely follows an abandoned logging road along the creek. A small beach, physically in the western part of the park but accessed by a road from the eastern side, is equipped with a restroom and an outdoor shower; swimming, skin diving, fishing, and tide pool exploration are all possible.