Caswell Memorial State Park

Quick Facts

Caswell Memorial State Park

California

(209) 599-3810

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The park is located along the Stanislaus River near the town of Ripon, California. The park protects a fine example of the threatened and still declining riparian oak woodland, which once flourished throughout California's Central Valley. Caswell is home to several endangered animal species, including the riparian brush rabbit which is not known to occur anywhere else.

The Native Americans who lived along this river and collected acorns among these ancient groves were Yokuts. In the early 1800s, Spanish explorers traversed this area, and fur trappers found the river bountiful.

Thomas Caswell, landowner, enjoyed this wonderful forest and felt it should be preserved. In 1950 the children and grand children donated 134 acres to the people of California. Additional donations and state purchases brought Caswell to its current size of 258 acres. Caswell Memorial State Park was open to the public in 1958.

Map of Caswell Memorial (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.695188, -121.184414

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Activities

  • Camping

    In a pleasant, wooded area beside the river there are 65 family campsites, each with a table, camp stove and food locker. The sites will accommodate trailers up to 21 feet long or motor homes up to 24 feet. Hookups are not available. The group campground will accommodate tent camping for up to 50 people, though it has been known to flood during the spring.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is popular, and fishing spots are plentiful along the sandy main channel of the Stanislaus River or the extremely slow moving oxbows. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, bullhead, blue gill and other sunfish, crappie, and pike minnow thrive here year round, and striped bass and Chinook salmon migrate through the area.

  • Hiking

    One of the most magnificent aspects of the park is an abundance of extensive nature trails. The trails offer a glimpse of what the riparian ecosystem of the valley looks like in its natural state.

  • Historic Sites

    Visitors can view rare riparian habitats at this park. The term "riparian" refers to vegetation or habitat along rivers and streams. A vast forest once covered much of the Central Valley's riverbanks and floodplains. What you see in the park today is just a remnant of this once much larger forest.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking abounds at various campsite and day-use areas, often tucked into the riparian zone home to slender oaks and myriad microclimates and microhabitats.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming is focused along a few key areas of the Stanislaus River for habitat preservation, but still offers rounds of immersion in the immediate riparian ecosystem. Call Caswell Memorial State Park office staff in advance for updates on Stanislaus River and other water body conditions.

Seasonality/Weather

Winters stay around a relatively mild 45-50 degrees F, while summer temperatures can range from 85-100 degrees. It's not unusual to go several consecutive days with 100+ temperatures June through September. Mosquitoes are among the resident wildlife so come prepared to live with them!

Park Partners

Four Rivers Association

The Four Rivers Association funds and supports educational and resource projects and programs in state parks near Los Banos including San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, Pacheco State Park, George J. Hatfield State Park, McConnell State Recreation Area, Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, Great Valley Grasslands State Park and Caswell Memorial State Park.

(209) 826-1196

Directions

Driving

From 99, take the Austin Rd. exit. Head South on Austin Rd. and you will run into the park at the end of the road. Latitude/Longitude: 37.7005 / -121.1243

Flying

Visitors cany fly into Mineta San Jose International Airport, approximately 51 miles away. Rental cars are available.

Public Transportation

San Joaquin Regional Transit District offers the best means of public transit in and around Ripon, CA, as well as the broader Stockton region. For bus schedules and fares, call 209-948-5566.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(209) 599-3810

Links