Hidden Adventures: Montana De Oro State Park

MONTANA DE ORO STATE PARK (KFSN) -- Sandy beaches, crashing waves, and spectacular scenery along with wildlife, sea life, and a bit of history await you at Montana De Oro State Park.

"The wildlife is beautiful here, we've seen lots of wildlife," said Kristin Wilson, Fresno.

The park hugs seven miles of coastline and covers 8,000 acres-- it is one of the largest state parks.

"Man there are so many good things about this park-- if you want to think about what this park has to offer-- 50 or 60 miles of trails, different habitats, we've got the oceanfront a couple of beaches here," said Ranger Rouvaishyana, the Parks interpretive guide.

The parks cliff top trails offer incredible views of the rocky shore and offer some unexpected surprises-- rattlesnakes. Students from Cal Poly are tracking snake tagged with electronic monitors to study their habits. When you visit just remember to stay on the trail.

The parks site also has a very long history.

"Native American people have lived in this area for at least 10,000 years that we know of. The first Spanish explorer was Juan Cabrillo. So he saw this are as he came by that was in 1542."

The first house built on the property is still standing and is now a museum and visitor center which Rich Elliot has been a volunteer at for 16 years and knows all about the place.

"The house was built by the Spooner family-- A.B. and his wife Mary came out here with her three sons in 1892."

It was a successful farm ranch and dairy for decades, the property was purchased by the state of California in 1965 and became Montana De Oro State Park.

The park is just about three hours from Fresno and well worth the drive.

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