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Dos Rios Ranch State Park Opens in Modesto After Nearly 20-Year Wait
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By Anthony W. Haddad
Published 1 month ago on
June 13, 2024

Dos Rios Ranch State Park has opened in Stanislaus County, offering various outdoor activities and educational opportunities following nearly 20 years of anticipation. (California State Parks)

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Dos Rios Ranch State Park opened its gates to the public Wednesday, marking the debut of Stanislaus County’s second state park, The Modesto Bee reported. Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, the only other state park in the county, has been closed since 2021 as officials seek a new operator.

The grand opening drew a large community turnout with guided tours, refreshments, food trucks, and interactive booths for children. The park currently features guided walks, picnic areas, bird-watching, and educational sessions with park interpreters.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity for the local community,” said Daniel Strait, who attended with his wife. “They can get these kids out here in nature for maybe their first time ever.”

Images of Dos Rios, the newest state park in the San Joaquin Valley. (California State Parks)

Dos Rios Sees Community Excitement and Support

Alison McNally and Peggy Hauselt, professors at CSU Stanislaus, were enthusiastic about using the park for student fieldwork. “I’m really excited that we have a local park next to Stan State. It’ll be a great opportunity to get the students involved hands-on,” McNally said.

The opening coincides with California State Parks Week, which celebrates the state park system and its protectors. Events will be held across all California state parks for the third consecutive year.

State Parks Director Armando Quintero outlined future plans for Dos Rios, including enhanced river access for swimming and boating, as well as trails for cycling. Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, emphasized the importance of acknowledging the land’s original inhabitants.

“The place we are at today is because of many people we will never meet,” Lopez said. “It’s important that the ancestors are seen as humans, they were not just hunters and gatherers but artists and teachers.”

State park interpreter Ali Manzo led the Junior Rangers Pledge, stressing the park’s role as an “outdoor classroom” for students.

The park’s creation was driven by restoration efforts from River Partners and the Tuolumne River Trust. Julie Retner, president of River Partners, described it as “a park of the future,” highlighting the Central Valley’s limited access to nature.

Dos Rios, the newest state park in the San Joaquin Valley. (California State Parks)

Sheri Brown, a landscape architect, praised the park’s focus on habitat restoration. “The park looks at restoring a habitat rather than building it, it invites people in to explore nature and what it has to offer,” Brown said.

Diana Avalos, a senior program manager for Jennifer Siebel Newsom, called Dos Rios “a product of the hope that lives and breathes in the Central Valley.” She addressed the community, saying, “Modesto, I want the best for you, and Dos Rios is the best.”

Get More Information About Dos Rios

Dos Rios Ranch State Park is located at 3559 Shiloh Road, about 10 miles west of downtown Modesto. It is open Fridays through Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no entrance fee. For more information, contact DosRios@parks.ca.gov or 209-596-9032.

Read more at The Modesto Bee

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Anthony W. Haddad,
Multimedia Journalist
Anthony W. Haddad, who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with his undergraduate degree and has an MBA at Fresno State, is the Swiss Army knife of GV Wire. He writes stories, manages social media, and represents the organization on the ground.

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