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Summer is the perfect time to visit our County Parks!

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s a great time to visit the Monterey County parks. Whether you want to picnic, hike, or just enjoy scenic views, there is something for everyone. Better yet, park admission is free.

The county parks include Royal Oaks and Manzanita in North County, Toro just south of Salinas, Jacks Peak near Monterey, San Lorenzo near King City, and recreation areas at Laguna Seca, Nacimiento and San Antonio, as well as the Former Fort Ord Travel Camp. Depending on which one you visit, you’ll find many different activities going on — some offer large barbecue and picnic areas, others have playground equipment and turf areas, and a few offer RV sites and horseback riding trails. Of course Nacimiento and San Antonio, being next to our county reservoirs, have boat facilities and fishing, and this year they’re drawing lots of visitors due to the rise in water levels.

I have a very personal history with the parks, since my father, Warren Church, was North County Supervisor from 1965-1977 and advocated for the creation of a county parks system. He ran on a platform of two parks, which eventually became Royal Oaks and Toro Park. The very first county park, Royal Oaks, opened Labor Day weekend in 1966. I was there for the grand opening and still remember the massive turnout, barbecue and games of horseshoes. Interestingly, Maher Road did not extend over to Echo Valley Road at that time. It was a dead-end road that ended about where Monterey Mushrooms is now located. My father was committed to preserving the beauty of Monterey County and providing recreational opportunities here, and it all started at Royal Oaks. Coincidentally, one of his last acts on the Board of Supervisors was the county’s purchase of Manzanita Park.

There was a period when admission was charged to the county parks, and that was something that I felt was wrong and should be changed. Luckily, several years ago, thanks to the efforts of Supervisors Mary Adams and John Phillips, admission to the parks was lifted and now is free to everyone.

That’s important to me, because we need to have these recreation areas available to all visitors.

If you haven’t visited a county park in a while, or there are some you haven’t been to yet, I encourage you to check them out this summer. More information is available here.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to my office for assistance. You can reach us at 831-755-5022 or


Glenn Church

District 2 Supervisor

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