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McGrath State Beach, Oxnard
Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve, Streamside Woodland Trail
The trail head is located at the end of the day use parking lot. The woodland trail to the right leads inland along the Santa Clara River. The trail to the left leads along the fresh water marsh, the salt marsh, the beach dunes and the beach. As previously mentioned, the dunes are roped off in the spring for nesting season. Endangered Least Terns and Snowy Plovers nest here. Take the trail to the left once you reach the dunes to get to the beach. You can walk the beach to the right (North) and connect to Santa Clara Rivermouth Beach, but some wading through the river mouth would be required certain times of the year. During the summer a sandbar forms across the river mouth providing dry passage, but eventually the river breaks through causing flooding...as a result McGrath is usually closed during the rainy season.
Also see the McGrath SB Trails page, a "virtual tour" of all the trails leading thru the nine ecosystems found at McGrath.
A few pictures dated 4/30/11 below (click to enlarge)
A few pics below dated 6/4/11. The first weekend of June an unusual storm system moved across California. Rainbows were appearing everywhere.
Santa Clara Rivermouth Beach
San Buenaventura State Beach
Channel Coast State Parks
Save McGrath State Beach page on caopenspace:
McGrath State Beach Trails (nature walk description & pics)
Official park website
(The state parks website says the park is closed but as of 4/17/10 it has been reopened.)
McGrath in the news
"State May Buy Dunes, Wetlands at the Beach", August 2000, latimes
The land was in fact purchased and part could be a future campground expansion and day use area. Article also mentions the Santa Clara River Parkway project, which would create a 12 mile nature trail along the Santa Clara River from the ocean to the foothills)
McGrath State Beach Natural Resources Management Plan (good info, also describes expanding or moving parts of the campground to the newer property described in the above news article):
Regarding the mention of the 1993 oil spill at McGrath Lake, this document describes the restoration and contains good info on the natural features of McGrath SB http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/980/files/restoration%20plan%20and%20environmental%20assessment.pdf
Santa Clara River info:
Santa Clara River Parkway (project of California Coastal Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy's LA-Ventura Project and Friends of the Santa Clara River.
Description of the Santa Clara River on Wikipedia
Santa Clara River, description of plant & animal life by The Nature Conservancy:
Santa Clara River Estuary Description on ceres.ca.gov:
Environmental concerns, Waste Water Runoff discharge:
Santa Clara River Watershed, studies, reports, management, other info:
Friends of the Santa Clara River: