【Attractions for weekend trips in Northern California】China Camp State Park

China Camp State Park

China Camp State ParkLocated in Marin County, a headland fishing village in San Pablo Bay, about 40 minutes north from downtown San Francisco. This state park is quite interesting, as the name suggests, it used to be a fishing village established by the Chinese. There is a small museum near the visitor center, where the fishing village used to be located, and the preservation is quite good. In addition to history, this side of the trail a lot, especially suitable for mountain biking, the entrance to the weekend, there are operators to rent a car, do not want to ride just want to walk, just look at the museum, walk the trail to see the sea view is also very good, you can also engage in water activities, quite suitable for weekend arrangements for one-day or two-day tour. If you want to find a place to eat nearby, you can go toSan Rafael.

China Fishing Village Museum

Follow the map to the direction of Historic village and you will arrive at the museum at China Camp Point. As I mentioned earlier, this museum is actually the site of a former Chinese fishing village, which was built around 1860 by a Kwong family from Guangdong who were fishing here. This is the only remaining remnant of a Chinese fishing village in the Bay Area. There is also a sign at the entrance that reads "Chinese Shrimp House".

Walking to the existing pier and looking back, the fishing village itself is actually not big, the pier is facing San Pablo Bay, the wind and waves are calm, in fact, the opposite side is Oakland, a small beach where you can play in the water, and on the beach there is also a boat parked in the past used to catch fish. In the past, the fishermen here mainly used to catch shrimps, which are the small bay shrimp that we often see in the bay area, and then sell them back to China. The wooden house we saw here is the museum we are going to visit later.

The museum introduces the history of the fishing village. The village had its heyday around 1880 and grew into a village with 28 buildings and 500 residents in 20 years. After 1882, the fishing was banned by the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the village gradually declined. Although fishing was allowed again in 1915, only a few descendants of the Kwong family remain. During this time, the residents also ran a small sport fishing business here, so we can see a small restaurant outside. Since 1960, the water from the nearby river has been diverted south to feed drought-stricken Nam Kahn, making the water too salty for shrimp.

On the other side of the hill, we can see a small house and a small garden. In the old days, people used to grow simple crops in the small garden to make the village self-sufficient.

China Camp Point

Along the coast, there are a few spots with ocean views and Day Use Areas, all of which can be reached by car or by biking or walking the Shoreline Trail. These can be reached by car, or you can bike or walk the Shoreline Trail, and the best viewpoint is probably China Camp Point, a large picnic area above the fishing village, on a promontory facing San Pablo Bay.

From this side, you can overlook the fishing village below. Except for the sound of seabirds, the cape is quiet and you can enjoy watching the sea. When we walked to the edge of the cape, there were deer grazing on the beach, apparently not too afraid of people.

Near the inland end, the seashore is in full bloom with Rubus flowers.

Bullhead Flat

Bullhead Flat, across the street from Ranger Station, is also a great spot for a picnic. Right across the street is the entrance of Peacock Gap Trail, where you can take a break from biking. This side of the hill is a bit low, with a wide sea view.

Camp Environment

China Camp also has campgrounds, there are 33 walk-in campsites on Back Ranch Meadows. This time we actually came here to camp.

  • Comfort: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Camp Space: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cleanliness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This campground requires a walk-in, and the distance from the entrance is acceptable, but it's a little bit of a hike. The campground is surrounded by trees and the terrain is mostly flat, so it is easy to set up tents and the temperature is moderate, which is very comfortable. There is plenty of space for several tents. The only drawback is that there are hives on the tops of the trees near us, and during the day the bees were buzzing while they were hard at work.

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