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“Neglected in the off season”

Caswell Memorial State Park
Ranked #3 of 7 things to do in Ripon
Attraction details
Reviewed February 13, 2017

We stopped overnight here after visiting the wineries in Lodi CA. It is considered a very pleasant place to visit in the Summer-one of the only riparian areas remaining in the Central Valley- with river fishing and swimming and many reputedly beautiful trails (no hookups for RVs). However, our experience was less than wonderful. The campground looked as though it had been flooded, but probably was just neglected after heavy rains and wind-debris everywhere. The paved roads and campsites were clear only because someone had driven through them previously. There was no trash (in fact the dumpsters were basically empty), but a lot of tree branches and wet leaf debris everywhere. We were hoping to take a shower, but after 6 minutes for $2 the water was still ICE COLD! We saw one official truck pass through the campground during our stay-there were only 2 other campsites occupied. Our review of the Park in preparation for the trip indicated that it was very popular both in the Summer and as an important part of the Pacific Flyway-we did see a number of birders using the day use area and heard wild turkeys, hawks, woodpeckers (and cattle). Don't expect much in the way of comforts during the winter months. There are many large Oak trees and dense undergrowth (I walked some of the closed sections of the campground and we drove through the day use area), so it's probably a wonderful retreat along the Stanislaus River during the hot Summer in the Central Valley. Probably need reservations then.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank SparkydogEscondidoCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"the river"
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"great place to go"
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5 - 9 of 25 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2017

A great State Park that I have gone to for years, good for weekend get aways. has some conveniences but not for large RVs. mostly a tent camping area, great fun though especially for kids, nature hikes and swimming

Date of experience: July 2016
1  Thank coyotejunction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 25, 2016

Want to go for a trail walk and then jump into a cooling river? If yes, then this is the place for you. For $10 a car we enjoyed the entire day walking the multiple paths in this state park. There are several picnic areas with grills and tables (many of them shaded by trees),as well as multiple bathrooms (which are kept clean). The trails are mostly dirt and grass, but there are well marked.
After our walk, we waded into the crystal clear, gold flecked waters for a refreshing swim. So beautiful and clean! The bottom is pure silt, no rough rocks here, so you can go barefoot safely. Not a single other person did we see the entire time we were at the park, but we went on a Thursday. According to other reviewers the park can get quiet cramped on the weekends.
There is a camping site as well to this park, but we didn't go there and I'm not quiet sure of the cost.

Date of experience: August 2016
2  Thank poisionapple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 19, 2015

I have visited this park a few times with the most recent last month when we camped with our trailer there for a few days. From what we were told by the park ranger, it can be somewhat difficult to get a camping spot during the summer months, but since it was fall, we were able to drive into the park and pick out the spot that we wanted. This is a very beautiful park and the campground is quite lovely too. All of the camping sites seem roomy and are surrounded by thick undergrowth and tall trees. There is a large fire pit, table and locker at each site. The Stanislaus River flows through the park and some of the campsites are on a bluff above the river which is quite scenic. The bathrooms seemed pretty nice and there are showers although we did not use them. The nights we were here, there were only three other campsites in use plus the group campsite which was pretty busy. It is a shame that more people were not taking advantage of camping during this time as the weather is delightful in the fall in the central valley. While we were there, we took advantage of hiking the trails of Caswell. You wander maintained dirt trails and some boardwalk through oak forests with huge trees, lots of understory and wild grapevines that grow up to the tallest trees. It is quite a sight to see! The oak trees here are just amazing in grandeur and beauty and are representative of what much of the central valley looked like years ago before the valley was cleared for human use. A rancher once owned this property and his family gave the property to the state park system. What a wonderful legacy! If you come to picnic, you will find a few large picnic areas with many tables under the oak trees and near the river. Many people like to take advantage of swimming and fishing here and there are a few beaches that are along the river. For those like me that love to look for birds, you will find this is a good place to bird watch, especially for woodpeckers. Admission to the park is $10.00 per car and $30.00 to camp each night. This park is a real treasure and not to be missed!

Date of experience: October 2015
2  Thank MSWMom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed September 4, 2015

The Central Valley can be blistering hot in summer, but this past week, right before the Labor Day weekend, this park was quite comfortable. Eight of us went to Caswell from the East Bay to look for birds, and we had some nice sightings, such as Western Tanagers, Yellow Warblers, and early-arriving Cedar Waxwings. We walked the campground loop, then went to the southern area and walked the nature trail along the Stanislaus River. The tall, mature trees provide lots of welcome shade. I've never camped here, but the camping is undoubtedly good. The spacing of the sites is not crowded. The bathrooms are very well maintained. The staff members we encountered were very friendly.

Date of experience: September 2015
2  Thank Judith D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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