After summer’s wildfire and winter’s heavy rains, five coastal parks in the Big Sur area remain closed indefinitely

f your spring break plans include hiking in the Big Sur area, it’s time to activate plan B. California state parks in the area received a double whammy in the past eight months that have kept popular coastal sites closed. More than 130,000 acres around Big Sur were scorched by the Soberanes fire that burned from July to October last year. Heavy rains in February brought flooding and slides to the burn area, compounding the damage. Some parks are closed indefinitely because of the fire, flooding or both.

L.A. State Historic Park to Reopen April 22

After a three-year renovation — about two years longer than originally slated — the 34-acre Los Angeles State Historic Park near Chinatown finally has an opening date.

National parks saw a record-setting number of visitors last year. Were they too much of a good thing?

Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks all set attendance records in 2016 — as did the park system nationwide, recording more than 330 million visits during its centennial year. A new tally shows 330.97 million recreational visits to national parks last year, a 7.72% increase from the year before. The Find Your Park marketing campaign, designed around the 100th anniversary of the NPS’ creation, built on a five-year upswing in visitation nationwide, said Jeffrey Olson, a National Park Service spokesman.

New California license plate features redwoods, needs 7,500 orders by May

California’s spectacular state parks system — which ranges from statuesque redwoods to vast deserts and sweeping beaches — has hit some rough patches over the past five years with threatened parks closures, budget problems and even a famous drive-through giant sequoia tree falling down this winter in heavy storms. But parks lovers are trying to inject some new visibility and money into the venerable system of 280 parks with a proposed commemorative license plate. For the state Department of Motor Vehicles to begin producing the plate, which features an image of a redwood forest, it needs 7,500 pre-paid orders by May 18.

Photo Credit: Della Huff