Click on the photo to explore KQED's radio and interactive series on California's parks.

California has a lot of state parks. 278 to be exact – more than any other state in the U.S. Some are tiny specks on the map – mini historic sites that you may have driven by without even noticing. Others are vast swaths of land – thousands of preserved acres of old growth forest, sweeping vistas, pristine beaches. Size and stature aside, each has it’s own significance, and the majority were spearheaded as a result of citizen-led campaigns to make the land public and accessible to anyone who wanted to visit.

You’ve most likely heard by now that a whole bunch of these sites are going to close because of budget cuts. As of last year, 70 were put on the chopping block. Since then, about 10 have been saved by private partnerships and local government support. But roughly 60 parks are still slated to shut down come July of this year.

That’s a serious amount of property at stake.

Scroll over the maps below to get a sense of the crazy diversity of park sites across the state – and just in the Bay Area alone. The red markers show parks that are set to close. The ones recently saved are yellow. And the parks that are safe – for now – are in blue.

 California’s State Parks

View California State Park Closures in a larger map


State parks in the Bay Area


Watch a clip from the new PBS series on California's parks

A (mini) Guide to California’s Parks 1 February,2013Matthew Green


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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