What you should know before visiting California State Parks Labor Day weekend

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KSWB) — Labor Day weekend has arrived with many setting their sights on outdoor adventures at California State Parks.

Park officials say they are excited to welcome nature enthusiasts to the state’s diverse landscapes of trails, beaches, lakes, mountains and deserts. There’s just one thing they wanted to encourage ahead of long-weekend festivities — safety.

“This Labor Day weekend, make the most of your outdoor adventures by putting safety first,” stated California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “By adhering to responsible recreation practices, safety and leveraging innovative tools, you can create unforgettable memories while preserving the natural beauty of California’s state parks.”

The department is offering up safety tips to parkgoers as well as things to know before you go.

Plan and prepare

Park officials say it’s best to check for any current park updates, trail closures or other unforeseen circumstances before heading out on your trip.

They also encourage adventurers to keep an eye on local weather forecasts to adequately prepare for trips. One way to stay informed is to access the webpage or social media account of the park you are planning to visit.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some park activities, camping or recreational pursuits may require permits or reservations. Park officials say travelers should book all reservations in advance.

Be sure to pack adequate equipment for your trip, and always have a backup plan in case your original destination or activity is unavailable.

Play it safe

Before heading to California State Parks, the department recommends that adventurers inform someone they know about their plans, especially if a long hike or water activity is on your itinerary.

The department stressed that parkgoers should only enter bodies of water — rivers, lakes or oceans — where it is safe and recommended. Bringing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is also encouraged for these types of activities.

Another solid tip from park officials — always adhere to signs and guidelines for a safe and secure experience.

More safety tips for backpacking, biking, boating, camping, hiking, horseback riding and swimming can be found here.

Apps to enhance safety

Park officials encourage outdoor enthusiasts to download the what3words app to communicate precise locations within any of the 280 state parks using just three words. This can come in handy during emergency situations as well as for location sharing with friends and family.

More information on what3words app can be found here.

Another recommended app is OuterSpatial. This app helps you navigate through interactive maps, receive real-time updates and stay connected with others visiting California State Parks.

As you head out to explore the wonders of California this holiday weekend, remember to “leave no trace” by staying on designated trails and carrying out all your trash.

Happy adventuring!

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