Caswell Memorial State Park

Update (May 1, 2021): With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • Parking.
  • Day-Use Areas.
  • Campgrounds and group camps.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
  • Special events and guided tours.
  • Limitations based on current CDPH guidance for the county.

Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead:
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(209) 826-1197

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 21 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 24 Feet

Park Hours

Year-round day use
8:00am to sunset

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs are welcome at the park but not allowed on river beaches.

Driving Directions to Caswell Memorial SP

From 99, take the Austin Rd. exit. Head South on Austin Rd. and you will run into the park at the end of the road.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

BOATING
Boating
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Swimming
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible

Safety Notification:

Summer Branch Drop
Caswell Memorial State Park is experiencing a phenomenon known as Summer Branch Drop. The term describes the failure of mature tree branches in summer, with no obvious cause. The failure of trees is inherently unpredictable.

Safety Notification/Summer Branch Drop (pdf)

Entrance of Caswell Memorial State Park
The park is located along the Stanislaus River near the town of Ripon, California. The park protects a fine example of the threatened and still declining riparian oak woodland, which once flourished throughout California's Central Valley. Caswell is home to several endangered animal species, including the riparian brush rabbit which is not known to occur anywhere else.

The Native Americans who lived along this river and collected acorns among these ancient groves were Yokuts. In the early 1800s, Spanish explorers traversed this area, and fur trappers found the river bountiful.

Thomas Caswell, landowner, enjoyed this wonderful forest and felt it should be preserved. In 1950 the children and grand children donated 134 acres to the people of California. Additional donations and state purchases brought Caswell to its current size of 258 acres. Caswell Memorial State Park was open to the public in 1958.

Location - Directions

From 99, take the Austin Rd. exit. Head South on Austin Rd. and you will run into the park at the end of the road.

Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing

Winter 45-50 degrees.
Summer 85-100 degrees.
It’s not unusual to go several consecutive days with 100+ temperatures June through September. Mosquitoes are among the resident wildlife so come prepared to live with them!!!

Facilities and Activities

Several species of fish including bass, catfish, crappie and more await your most enticing fishing technique.

Campfire programs, Junior ranger programs and nature walks are given every weekend throughout the summer. Interpretive walks and talks for school, service and social groups are available by making prior arrangements with park staff.

The Stanislaus River meanders through the park, with beaches and swimming areas near the park’s day use and campground facilities.

One of the most magnificent aspects the park has to offer is its seemingly endless nature trails. The trails allow a glimpse of what the riparian ecosystem of the valley would have looked like in pristine times. A majestic Oak Forest is surrounded by many other lush plant species, some of which are rarely found anywhere else in the area.

The park offers a rich variety of wildlife viewing. While many of the wildlife species here are nocturnal and rarely seen, bird watching is a favorite among nature lovers. Red shouldered and red tailed hawks are often seen, along with dozens of other winged artists.

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