Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

UPDATE (June 16, 2020) - As California State Parks begins working with locals 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, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Colonel Allensworth SHP:

What is open now?
  • Trails, beaches and day use areas.
  • Parking may be limited.
  • Campgrounds will open at limited capacity to maintain social distancing and avoid large group gatherings starting June 12. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping. To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275. Campsites are sold by reservation only, walk-ins will NOT be allowed.  Camping is available only for those in the same family unit.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?

At this park:
  • Visitor Centers
  • Picnic Areas
  • Congregate and high touch areas

Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
  • 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?

Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking may be limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: Please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(661) 849-3433

Park Hours

Visitor Center: Monday-Sun 10am-4pm
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day)

Park: Monday-Sun 9am-Sunset
and scheduled special events

Dogs Allowed?

Yes

Driving Directions to Colonel Allensworth SHP

The park is about 30 miles north of Bakersfield. From Hwy 99 near the town of Earlimart, take the Ave 56 Exit (Exit 65), then turn west toward Alpaugh and go 7.4 miles on County Rd J22 (W Sierra Av). At Hwy 43 (Central Valley Hwy) turn right (south) and proceed to the intersection of Palmer Av. Turn right and proceed to the Park entrance.

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.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
En route Campsites
Family Campsites
RV Dump Station
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Come Home to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

Allensworth Centennial Logo

A century has passed since the founding of this unique town dedicated to the dignity of the human spirit. Although the centennial celebration is now a part of history, there are still plenty of opportunities to come learn about Colonel Allen Allensworth and the courageous group of families and individuals who believed they could create their own version of the "American Dream". Come experience the inspiring story of the people who came to an isolated spot in the southern San Joaquin Valley to build a place of their own, a place where hard work, dedication, and faith would allow them and their children the opportunity to control their own discrimination-free destiny.

Colonel Allensworth SHP is a bike friendly park! On your next visit bring your bicycle and enjoy the Park!  You might want to  ask the staff about the types of bicycles that were used in Allensworth.

Want to get a feel for Allensworth before you come? Then check out our new "virtual tour" webpage for photographs of Allensworth's historic, restored, and reconstructed buildings.

Visit our Co-Operating Assn. webpage: Friends of Allensworth
Check out our YouTube Channel
Join us on  Facebook
Check out our 360 photos on Google Maps/Streetview

Allensworth History

In August 1908 Colonel Allen Allensworth and four other settlers established a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Their dream of developing an abundant and thriving community stemmed directly from a strong belief in programs that allowed blacks to help themselves create better lives. By 1910 Allensworth’s success was the focus of many national newspaper articles praising the town and its inhabitants.

An unavoidable set of circumstances made it impossible for the residents of this tiny town located 30 miles north of Bakersfield to achieve their founders’ dreams over the long term. But the town did remain home to a handful of families and individuals throughout the 20th century, and true to the courage and resolve of its founders, the town has survived and persevered, earning the well-deserved title “The town that refused to die.”

In 1974 California State Parks purchased land within the historical townsite of Allensworth, and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Today a collection of lovingly restored and reconstructed early 20th-century buildings—including the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library—once again dots this flat farm country, giving new life to the dreams of these visionary pioneers.

With continuing restoration and special events, the town is coming back to life as a state historic park. The park’s visitor center features a film about the site. A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers.

More about the history of Allensworth

Agents of Discovery App

Agent of Discovery Icon imageAgents of Discovery

Come help the Ministry of Culture at Colonel Allensworth SHP. Download the Agents of Discovery app on your smartphone or tablet and the Colonel Allensworth mission! The App is FREE! and does not require WiFi or cellular data to play once installed! 

Location - Directions

The park is north of Bakersfield; 20 miles north of Wasco on Highway 43; seven miles west of Earlimart on County Road J22.

Directions (From Southern California).
From I-5 take 99 North; 30-miles past Bakersfield, EXIT at  POND ROAD and keep going west aprox. 7 miles to State Highway 43. From there, go right (on Highway 43)for about 8-miles to PALMER AVENUE. Make a left over the railroad tracks then turn right to enter the Park.

Directions (From Northern California)
From State Highway 99 take the Alpaugh exit in Earlimart; turn right on County Road J22 (Sierra Way) go aprox. 7 miles to State Highway 43.  From there, go left 2 miles to PALMER AVENUE. Make a right over the railroad tracks then turn right to enter the Park.

Earlimart, CA

If you are coming by Train, Please call AmTrack at: 1-800-872-1477 or 1-800-USA RAIL

Visitor Center and Tours

The park has a visitor center and tours are available by making arrangements with the park in advance. The visitor center features a video presentation, "Allensworth: A Piece of the World," which is available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily.  The picnic area is shaded by trees planted by they California Conservation Corps and has BBQ stands and tables. 

A self guided "Cell Phone Tour" is available on site, with each stop providing a breif history of the towns residents.

The most important building, historically and in the memory of Allensworth pioneers, is the schoolhouse. It was in use until 1972 and is furnished as it would have been on a school day in 1915.  

Also important to the education of Allensworth's citizens was the Mary Dickenson Memorial Library, about 200 yards north of the school.

Colonel Allensworth's residence is furnished in the 1912 period. It contains items from the colonel's life in the service and the ministry. A small display of farm equipment is a reminder of the Allensworth economic base.

Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing

The Central Valley, is hot in summer and mild in winter. Rain falls from October through April. Winter temperatures below freezing can bring frost, but snow is rare. Summer temperatures above 100 degrees are part of the normal pattern.

Camping

Fifteen campsites, open all year, will accommodate RVs or tents. Each site includes a picnic table and a fire ring; flush toilets and showers are nearby. Facilities for disabled people are available. Turf, trees, and shade ramadas are other features.

More campgrounds are available near Porterville which is about 40 miles north of Allensworth.

Rocky Hill Campground -- 108 sites, primitive.

Army Corps of Engineers -- Success Lake, east of Porterville.

Tule Recreation Area -- 104 sites, disposal station, flush toilets, showers.

KOA Campgrounds -- 5-miles east of Porterville on Hwy 109. Also, 13-miles north of Bakersfield, via SR 99 on Lerdo Highway.

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