George J. Hatfield

Park Brochure

brochure George J. Hatfield - Park Brochure
Our Mission Spring, summer and fall offer fishing, camping, picnicking, river wading, sunbathing, hiking and nature study. The mission of the California Department of Parks and Recreation is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. GRAY DAVIS Governor MARY D. NICHOLS Secretary for Resources RUTH COLEMAN Acting Director, California State Parks California State Parks does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at the phone number below. To receive this publication in an alternate format, write to the Communications Office at the following address. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800)777-0369 (916)653-6995,outside the U.S. (888)877-5378,TTY (888)877-5379,without TTY McConnell State Recreation Area 8800 McConnell Road Ballico, CA 95303 (209)394-7755 © 2002 California State Parks Printed on Recycled Paper  McConnell George J. Hatfield State Recreation Areas T he Merced River, after coursing its way through the Yosemite Valley, becomes calm and inviting as it flows through McConnell State Recreation Area. Towering cottonwoods and sycamores offer relief from the dry heat of the central San Joaquin Valley. Where the Merced passes through George J. Accessible picnic area and bench on the Merced River at McConnell SRA Hatfield State Recreation Area, visitors are inspired to take advantage of a riparian habitat that NATURE PRESERVED offers fishing, swimming, rafting and other The bottomland along the river consists water-related activities. The two parks are of a rich sandy soil. Before the arrival of about 20 miles from each other, and because European settlers, this soil supported a of their proximity, they share essentially luxurious growth of trees, shrubs, vines the same ecology. and wildflowers that provided abundant The native streamside habitat may be food and a place of refuge for the Native observed while rafting or canoeing down Americans and the wildlife that inhabited the river. The river flows slowly during the the valley. Today rich farmlands surroundsummer months, and there are limited ing the parks nourish field, row and access points. Allow plenty of time to relax nut crops. Poultry and cattle ranching and enjoy the scenery. flourish in the area. The typical Central Valley climate can Valley oak, box elder and cottonwood reach from 90 to as much as 105 degrees are the primary native trees. Sycamores, in the summer, with mild spring and fall fruitless mulberries, elms and Modesto temperatures. In winter the weather can ash trees have been introduced. There drop to below freezing. The average are dense areas of native elderberries, annual rainfall is 12 inches. wild grapes and blackberries. The careful observer may see raccoons, opossums, weasels, muskrats, skunks, ground squirrels, cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits and even an occasional beaver or black-tailed deer. Common birds include valley quail, woodpeckers, robins, crows, yellow-billed magpies, scrub jays, ring-necked pheasants and several kinds of hawks, as well as ducks, geese and band-tailed pigeons during their annual migrations. McCONNELL STATE RECREATION AREA The earliest residents of what is now McConnell State Recreation Area were the Northern Valley Yokuts, who lived in small groups in an extensive area between the Coast Range and the Sierra Nevada. The Yokuts, known for their artistry in creating both coiled and twined basketry, depended on hunting and gathering for their needs. Salmon fishing, acorn harvesting and deer hunting provided a rich, stable food supply. When Europeans arrived, they discovered a native people willing to defend their lands and their way of life. About four miles upstream of the park, a Yokut village site provides evidence of their presence. Magpie McConnell State Recreation Area is a shady oasis, a small island of peace and quiet. Named after Thomas McConnell, a sheep rancher and pioneer who homesteaded the site in 1871, it offers year-round recreation. As the first state park in the San Joaquin Valley, this 74-acre recreation area opened in 1950. Several grassy fields offer youngsters ample room to play. While the low, easy summer flow of the Merced River is great for swimming, swimmers should watch out for deep holes. No lifeguard service is available. Anglers can fish for catfish, black bass and perch. A valid California sport-fishing license is required. The park’s tree-shaded camping and picnic areas have rock fireplaces, tables and piped drinking water. Family campsites are provided with food lockers and hibachi-like grills mounted on convenient, waist-high supports. A 50capacity group camping area has two rock fireplaces, a horseshoe pit and a large barbecue with an adjustable grill. There is also a 20-person group campground. Two modern restroom facilities include individual coinoperated shower enclosures. The picnic area, overlooking wide, sandy beaches, features shade trees, picnic tables and hibachis. Catfish When park personnel are not on duty, campers will find convenient self-registration envelopes for paying camping fees. Firewood is available at the park office, Louisa Jane Cox, grandmother of Mrs. Hatfield, is placed in a group of oak trees. As a girl in 1849, Louisa traveled with her family over the Santa Fe Trail to California. Bordered on three sides by the Merced River, the 46.5-acre park has more than a mile of river frontage. Visitors may swim and fish in the river, but swimmers should be aware of deep holes. No lifeguard service is available, and the riverbanks are narrow Campground at McConnell SRA and a pay telephone is located at the front entrance. Groups must register in advance. To reach the park, take the Shanks Road exit off Highway 99 south between Turlock and Livingston, and follow the signs. Northbound, take the Collier Road exit, turn right, and follow the signs. GEORGE J. HATFIELD STATE RECREATION AREA George J. Hatfield, former California Lieutenant Governor and State Senator, donated this land to the State to establish the recreation area, which was dedicated September 20, 1953. A bronze plaque honoring Group campsite at George J. Hatfield SRA and steep. This recreation area, a less frequently visited unit of the State Park System, provides significant outdoor activities for families and fishermen. Spring, summer and fall offer fishing, camping, picnicking, river wading, sunbathing, hiking and nature study. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES • At McConnell SRA— two paved campsites and two picnic tables; restroom facilities with coin-operated showers; picnic tables on level terrain at the edge of the river; a campfire center; and a paved trail to the river. Call for specific details. California sycamore Several small campsites are equipped with tables and grills, and drinking water and two restrooms are nearby. Campers must use the self-registration envelopes. Fees are posted at the park entrance. Though the parking lot is limited to 20 spaces, the group campground can serve groups up to 50 people. It has a large barbecue pit, sinks, water, work and serving areas, picnic tables and benches. Groups must register in advance for camping. Most of the picnic sites have tables and grills, and are under the shade of a grove of box elders and valley oaks. A public telephone is located at the main entrance to the park. The park is located five miles east of Newman. From I-5, take the Newman exit between Crows Landing and Santa Nella, and drive east for about nine miles to the park entrance on Kelley Road. The park currently has no developed accessible facilities. For more information, call the park at (209) 6322852, or the district office at (209) 826-1197. NEARBY STATE PARKS • Great Valley Grasslands State Park, 5 miles east of Gustine (209) 826-1196 • San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, 12 miles west of Los Banos (209) 826-1196 • Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, 22 miles east of Modesto (209) 874-2056 Tree shaded campground at George J. Hatfield SRA PLEASE REMEMBER (Applies to both parks) • Family campsites are limited to eight persons and two licensed vehicles. Call (800) 444-7275 for camping reservations. • All vehicles must be confined to designated roadways and parking areas. • The campground speed limit is 15 MPH. • All features of the parks are protected and must not be disturbed or removed. • Dogs must be on a leash at all times and in a tent or vehicle at night. PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PET. • Loud noise and music are prohibited at all times. Quiet hours are 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. • Generators may only be operated between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. • Weapons, including firearms and bows and arrows, are not permitted. • Please do not gather dead wood, twigs or other plant material for fires. Decayed vegetation helps the growth of trees and other plants. • Bicyclists under 18 must wear approved helmets. At night bicyclists must be equipped with headlamps and reflectors in compliance with vehicle code regulations. • Campsites are vulnerable to theft at any time. Secure your valuables and equipment, and report any suspicious activity. • Check out time is 12:00 noon. Check in time is 2:00 p.m. to Modesto J17 East Ave West Main St G TURLOCK de n St at e Bl vd Lander Ave ol 99 165 George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area Bradbury Rd Y NT U CO TY N S U A OU L C IS D AN CE T R S E M August Rd Hilmar Bloss Ave Mitchell Rd Williams Ave in River qu San Joa Swenson Rd Turner Ave Riv Kelley Rd Turner Ave er d River rce ad Hagaman County Park M e Ro see detail map GEORGE J. HATFIELD STATE RECREATION AREA J18 lls Fe rr y Rd River Rd Keaton Rd Hi TY U Y O T C UN S U CO to Newman A L D IS CE N R TA E S M N 165 Stevinson River uin aq San J o Legend Freeway 140 Major Road Road P Unpaved Road G R E AT V A L L E Y Trail Mc Me Me Hag GRASSLANDS Campground Group Campground Picnic Area Hag Hat S T AT E Campfire Center Telephone Mc Hat PA R K Restrooms Shower 165 Accessible Feature to P Parking 5 to Los Banos J7 J17 Manteca to Sacramento Westley 99 to San Francisco 5 Tuolomne Turlock Lake SRA Atwater ed erc M Livingston Great Valley Grasslands SP Merced 140 to Fresno Joaqu in Ri r Los Banos ve Santa Nella San Gustine San Luis Res SRA 59 SRA J7 R Newman 152 River Turlock McConnell Patterson George J. Hatfield SRA J7 La Grange Modesto 132 Henry W Coe SP Don Pedro Reservoir 108 Tracy This park is supported in part through a nonprofit organization. For more information contact: Four Rivers Natural History Association 31426 Gonzaga Road, Gustine, CA 95322-9737 • (209)826-1197 120 152 to Los Angeles e Le El Capitan Way Delhi Schendel Rd M Shanks Rd Exit Pepper St Griffith Ave 99 Rd Ballico Ave ury Rd River ced er 1st Ave S Dr Can al Meadow Dr st Rd Cressey 2nd Ave S Rd ey l lle ra Pa Rd Collier Rd Exit McCONNELL STATE RECREATION AREA res s Cressey Way Ave L iv ing sto nC Merced River Park Merc e iver dR Walnut Ave Livingston 133ft 41m River Rd Palm Ave J7 see detail map Riv Kelley Rd 99 to Atwater, Merced er Ro see detail map ad J18 River Rd S Keaton Rd Hi lls Fe rr y Rd PLEASE NOTE PLEASE NOTE When boating or rafting on the Merced When boating or rafting on the Merced River: River: • Tell family or friends where and when • Tell family friends where and when your your river or trip is to take place, including river to take place, including start starttrip andisfinish points. and finish points. TY N low flow periods are very • CurrentsUin Y O NT • Currents low flow periodsmay are result very slow. C in slow. An hour of padding in U S Oof An hour paddling may result in only U 1 Cto 3 miles of travel, depending1 to only A 3upon travel, depending the of Lmiles D of water’s depth andupon the extent I S C E the water’s depth and the extent of water N water R hyacinth. E T A hyacinth. M • Wear life jackets at all times. • Wear life jackets at all times. Floating Distances Between Points McConnell SRA to Merced River Park Merced River Park to Hagaman County Park 2.5 miles 3.5 km 6.5 miles 10.4 km Hagaman County Park to 9.0 miles Hatfield SRA 14.4 km McConnell SRA to Hatfield SRA © 2002 California State Parks Map by Eureka Cartography, Berkeley, CA 18.0 miles 28.3 km 140 to Merced 140 McConnell State Recreation Area

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