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California > Monterey County Parks
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Monterey County Parks

Jacks Peak- Jacks Peak Park offers visitors spectacular views from trails that wind through skyscraping Monterey Pine forests.
Laguna Seca Recreation Area- Laguna Seca Recreation Area of Monterey County is home of the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca and the Laguna Seca Recreation Area where day and overnight offerings abound.
Lake San Antonio- Lake San Antonio is Monterey County's premier freshwater recreation area. Located just 20 miles inland from California's beautiful Central Coast, the park offers a host of year-round activities.
Royal Oaks Park- Royal Oaks Park was established in 1966 and is the oldest park in the Monterey County Parks system. It is also one of the most popular family destinations.
San Lorenzo Park- Along the Salinas River, in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, San Lorenzo Park is as picturesque as the scenic Salinas Valley which surrounds it.
Toro Park- Located just 6 miles from downtown Salinas and 13 miles from the Monterey Peninsula, Toro County Park is home for many types of wildlife.

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General Information

Description - The total acreage of Monterey County Parks is 13,707 plus 5,700 water surface acres at Lake San Antonio. The Monterey County Parks Department is a regional parks system created in 1965 by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

The mission of Monterey County Parks Department is to maintain stewardship over a system of nine county parks including two lakes. These outdoor recreation resources are managed to preserve, promote, and interpret the natural, historical, and cultural values of Monterey County. They are operated to provide opportunities for the public's enjoyment, inspiration, education, personal development, and cultural enrichment.

The Monterey County Parks Department has received acclaim over the years. Country Discoveries Magazine called San Lorenzo Park the "Friendliest RV Park." The Salinas Californian Readers Choice Awards named Lake San Antonio first in Place to Boat and Lake Nacimiento second. Toro Park was named first place for Parks & Hiking. Coast Weekly has named many of the parks in their Readers Poll over the years. The most recent was Jack's Peak as runner up for Best Hiking Trail.

Attractions - Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities from water sports, horseback riding and camping at Lake San Antonio to quiet meditation at Jacks Peak Park overlooking the spectacular Monterey Bay. Royals Oaks, located in North County is a wonderful place for kids; enjoy a youth area, tennis courts, and ball fields. Toro is a day use park between Monterey and Salinas, perfect for that afternoon picnic following a session of nature study at the Environmental Center. Laguna Seca not only welcomes overnight users and the typical day user, but also those with an interest in target practice and raceway sports. Along the Salinas River, in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, San Lorenzo Park is as picturesque as the scenic Salinas Valley, which surrounds it. After settling in your modern RV or tent camping site, you can visit the Historic Agricultural and Rural Life Museum. And lastly, there is Lake Nacimiento, built in the 1950s for flood control, the lake is a recreation Mecca with 163 miles of shoreline dotted with many private facilities that provide camping, day use and water sports access. Monterey County Parks are open all year for your enjoyment. Most of the park hold special events and are great for watching wildlife.

Recreation - Whether you enjoy horseback riding, bird watching, team sports, camping, or relaxing amid fabulous coastal scenery, a Monterey County Park is the perfect outdoor location to enjoy a bit of free time.

Climate - Climate in the Central Coast varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.

Location - Monterey County is located on the Pacific Coast in California's upper Central Coast Region.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Kim (Salinas, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Black Mountain trail, Toro Park. Long with an elevation climb of over 2000 ft. Have lunch at Simis Peak\Black mountain trail head. Beautiful views, no crowds. Great workout!

More Information

Contact Information:
Monterey County Parks Dept., P.O. Box 5249 , Salinas, CA, 93915, Phone: 831-755-4895
, parks@co.monterey.ca.us

Additional Information:
California's County and Regional Parks - This section includes County and Regional Parks Districts throughout the state. California's County and Regional Parks offer a wide range of attractions from large tracts of nature to more developed recreation facilities.
Central Coast Region - The Central Coast Region covers a tranquil expanse between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Dramatic seascapes and coastal resorts, together with the pastoral atmosphere of its inland agricultural communities, make this region an idyllic destination.
Monterey Area -

Lake Nacimiento Resort - Recreation at Lake Nacimiento
Monterey County Parks - Official agency website.
Monterey County Parks - Official agency website.


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