China Camp trails provide highs and lows of east Marin

The mountaineering expertise at China Camp State Park is as layered because the land’s historical past. The park sits on the shores of San Pablo Bay, crisscrossed like most Marin open house by a community of multi-use trails. The paths course by completely different habitats, from marshy flats to stands of blended evergreen giving strategy to bay and oak, madrone and manzanita, peaking on a ridge that affords picturesque panoramas. On the downslopes and within the flats is a mixture of grassland, chaparral and freshwater to saltwater marsh.

Bushy vetch will be seen on the paths at China Camp State Park. 

As soon as inhabiting these flats and ridges have been the Coast Miwok, who lived there for hundreds of years earlier than the land was wrested from them within the type of a Mexican land grant to a settler. The grantee was Irishman, meatpacker and native hunter Timothy “Don Timoteo” Murphy, a naturalized Mexican citizen also called the “Don of San Rafael,” who served because the city’s alcalde, or mayor. By accounts, he was a big fellow, with a cruising altitude of 6 toes 2 inches and weighing in at greater than 300 kilos, who as soon as wrestled a bear.

The bear-wrestling Irishman finally bought a portion of the land grant, Rancho Las Gallinas, to a different Irishman, James Miller. At his loss of life from a burst appendix in 1853, Murphy left most of his remaining property, Rancho Santa Margarita, to a nephew, John Lucas. Finally, the land that might change into generally known as China Camp fell into the possession of the McNear brothers.

Many Marin residents will acknowledge a few of these names due to the locations that bear them: Lucas Valley, Miller Creek, Don Timoteo, Las Gallinas, Santa Margarita, McNears Seaside. And China Camp.

Within the palms of the McNears, the land that turned China Camp was sublet to Chinese language shrimp fishermen. The group that constructed up within the Eighties round a short increase in shrimping exports gave the area its present title, and the final unique shrimp fisherman there, Quan Hung Quock, died in 2016.

The land was designated as a state park in 1978, fell beneath risk of closure in 2011, and was rescued by nonprofit intervention. The park now runs on funding and volunteerism by the Associates of China Camp, which is why you’ll pay $5 to park and $3 to make use of its 15 miles or so of multi-use trails, lots of them fairly common with mountain bikers.

We visited the park on a weekday afternoon to get pleasure from some low-use time on the paths. At 1,640 acres, about 100 acres of it wetlands, the park isn’t huge. Most of it lies to the southwest of North San Pedro Highway, which runs by it. Above the street rises an oak-covered ridge that tops out at about 1,000 toes.

Drawn by the peak of this ridge, we determined to make it our objective. To start out, we paid the parking and path charges on the entrance kiosk for Again Ranch Meadows Campground. You may park alongside the street right here, stroll in and begin your hike on Shoreline Path simply to the best of the entry station. Or you may drive down the street to a parking zone on the best the place there’s one other entry level for Shoreline.

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