First new state park campground in 30 years to open on California coast

The first new state park campground on the California coast in 30 years is expected to feature ocean frontage on Monterey Bay when it opens in 2022.

Fort Ord Dunes State Park has 4 miles (6 kilometers) of ocean beach on the bay and is located near Marina, south of Moss Landing and north of Monterey, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

A former military unit, Fort Ord Dunes opened 10 years ago with little supporting infrastructure and is one of a handful of state parks providing free parking and access.

The area is sometimes overlooked because unlike most state parks along the Pacific Coast Highway, Fort Ord Dunes does not have a direct turnoff to parking from Highway 1.

The campground’s plan places the new campground site at a spot called Bunker 4 that is designed with three separate units, a California State Parks official said.

The plan proposes a unit with 45 recreational vehicle sites, including drive-through sites with hookups for electricity and water.

Another unit is designed for family camping, with 40 sites for tents and small, self-contained RVs.

A third area will have walk-in sites for backpack-style campers and be available for cyclists.

A boardwalk has been planned to allow access to the beach without damage crossing sensitive dunes. Two overlook areas are expected to provide views of Monterey Bay, historic Fort Ord and oceanfront cities Sand City, Seaside and Monterey.

“This landscape provides some of the best views of coastal dunes anywhere in the state,” said Brent Marshall, district superintendent for state parks. “Many Californians lack access to parks, open spaces and natural and cultural amenities. Creating a new campground will help make these dynamic sand dunes accessible to all.”

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