Local Outdoor Recreation Areas in California for the Whole Family

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Oh, the places you’ll go….at camp this summer! We’re sharing our favorite local outdoor recreation areas in California for the whole family so you can get outdoors and get active at the places we travel to at camp during the summer!

One gorgeous morning over breakfast, we were deciding where to go biking when my son told us he had the perfect spot.  He wanted to go “where I went with Avid4 Adventure.”  “Great,” I said, excited for the opportunity to try somewhere new and have Jack show us someplace he’d been without us.

The only problem was that Jack didn’t know the name of the place.  He thought it was “kind of near the dog park, but not really” and “it wasn’t far away, and we were on a bumpy road off a busy street.”  So helpful, right?  You’ve all had similar conversations with your kids, I’m sure!



Go where Avid4 Adventure goes

Avid4 Adventure is all about taking kids to areas that are close to campers’ communities whether it’s a state park, open space or local recreation areas.  We want kids to experience authentic outdoor sports – like rock climbing on real crags – and locations are deliberately chosen so that families can return after camp is over.


This year, we thought we’d let you know some of the locations your campers will be experiencing, so you can have an adventure of your own before camp starts!

A few staff favorites in California:


  • Corte Madera’s El Corte De Madera Creek Preserve has 36 miles of multi-use trails.  You’ll find downhills, uphills, double tracks, single tracks – something for everyone!
  • China Camp State Park in San Rafael has more than 15 miles of trails for you and your family to explore.  Don’t forget a picnic!



  • Sacramento’s Castle Rock State Park is a beautiful park with fun climbs.  Be sure to check out the park brochure for maps.
  • Cragmont Rock Park is one of Berkeley’s rock parks and provides great views and challenges for rock climbing beginners.



  • The Tiburon Ridge Trail in Mill Valley offers spectacular views from the summit San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge to Napa and Sonoma to the East Bay.  What a great spot to take in nature!
  • Fremont Older Preserve lets hikers (and their leashed dogs) enjoy open hayfields and a 900-foot hilltop with views of Santa Clara Valley.

Water sports

  • Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda offers 2.5 miles of water fun!  Rent kayaks or bring your own equipment – but be sure to remember personal floatation devices!
  • Canoe, kayak or SUP at Santa Clara’s Calero Reservoir.  Weekends can get crowded with jet and water skiers, so if you can escape during a week day, give it a try!


Avid4 Adventure encourages families to continue the adventure AND not travel far to experience what campers did.  So, grab the kids, bikes, paddles, backpacks or whatever and head out to one of our camp favorites!  What are you waiting for?  Get out and explore!

April 11, 2016 | Emily Moeschler

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