The Future of Castle Rock

The Future of Castle Rock State Park

A New Park for the 21st Century

Castle Rock State Park is the South Bay’s gateway into the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is a magical land of sculpted sandstone, diverse forests, and breathtaking vistas. Located on one of the most prominent ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park has long been a mecca for hikers, backpackers, horseback riders and rock climbers.

The park is an integral part of the world-class network of trails that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys to nearby Big Basin Redwoods State Park and open space preserves on the Skyline to the Sea Trail.

Castle Rock State Park also represents the unique relationship between the Silicon Valley tech community and the natural world. After the brilliant engineer Russell Varian helped found Silicon Valley in the years following World War II, the life-long nature lover also secured an option to buy the property that would become Castle Rock – a place he had frequently hiked with close friend and master photographer Ansel Adams.

Varian died unexpectedly before he could donate the land to California State Parks, but his widow, Dorothy, leveraged Sempervirens Fund as a trust to acquire the lands for conservation. Her efforts helped establish Castle Rock State Park in 1968. Originally 566 acres, the park now encompasses 5,150 acres of wilderness and 34 miles of trails.

“If Silicon Valley had an official State Park, it would be Castle Rock.” – Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News

What Castle Rock State Park doesn’t have is a safe, welcoming entrance with basic amenities…. until now.

Sempervirens Fund is creating state-of-the-art state park facilities—including the Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance, a welcome plaza, interpretive features, outdoor amphitheater, large parking lot, restrooms, trail connections, picnic areas and other amenities—to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds in the enjoyment of our natural lands while instilling the desire to care for them.

We’re re-imagining Castle Rock to show what a state park can and should be in the 21st century. Complete with the sort of hi-tech and green features Silicon Valley residents expect from their “neighborhood” park, such as electric vehicle charging stations, Wi-Fi, solar panels for electricity, and pervious pavement to reduce water runoff.

To contribute to the future of Castle Rock, click here.