May 31

Montana de Oro — trails opened

Labeled "Rancho Montana 1965" from the files of The Tribune. ©The Tribune

Moñtana de Oro was a new state park in 1965. There were several articles in the early 60s leading up to the purchase of the park for public use. Local state senator Vernon Sturgeon was one of the leaders who pushed for funding the acquisition.
The article is from sometime after April 24, 1965 when the park was dedicated. The photo is from sometime in 1965, at Spooner’s Cove. If you recognize the couple please post a comment.

The trails of Ranch Montana de Oro are open

LOS OSOS— You can still find nature without a middleman at Rancho Montana de Oro State Park south of here.
The new 4,400 acre addition to the state park system should appeal especially to those who still like to “rough it” a bit in the great outdoors.
So far very, few modern facilities have been installed. (This should be good news for nature buffs.)
The park sprawls over mountains and uplands overlooking the Pacific ocean. It’s a paradise for hikers, picnickers, fishermen, swimmers, birdwatchers, wildlife fans and sightseers.
Montana de Oro—”mountain of gold”— takes its name from “Sticky Monkey,” a gold colored flower which grows profusely at the park.
Wildlife on the ranch includes mountain lions, bobcats, coyote, foxes, raccoons, deer, opossums, snakes (including rattlesnakes) and rabbits.
Along the ocean are habitats of birds which have been nesting there for thousands of years.
There are two freshwater streams which run year around. Both provide trout fishing, which may improve if the state stocks the streams.
At Spooner’s cove, one of the few ready accesses to the ocean, are remains of an old 750 foot pier on which early homesteaders once sent and received supplies by sea. (The cove is also known as Smugglers Cove because of old rumors the area was sometimes used for that purpose.)
Early this year the state bought the park from the Rancho Montana de Oro Corp for $2.6 million. The corporation’s manager, William Ahrendt, had hoped for seven years the area could eventually become a state park open to public use.
The back country trails are now open, but only to hikers, not to vehicles or horses. There are about 50 miles of trails.
State park rangers patrol the park, which is only open during daylight hours.
The stat park people plan eventually to make a number of developments, but now only limited parking space and sanitary facilities are available.
Persons who visit the park have been asked to bring their own drinking water, since no safe supplies are available locally. They have also been asked to be extremely careful around the cliffs overlooking the ocean, since many are undercut.
Rancho Montana de Oro is reached by a county road running to it from Los Osos, which can be reached both via San Luis Obispo or Morro Bay.
The park was officially dedicated at a ceremony April 24 outdoors on the property.

[Editor's note — apparently putting the tilde over the n in Moñtana messes up the automated archiving so I have removed it from the title. When the blogs crashed the comments were lost so we lost the identification of the people in the photo that a family member left. Please post again if you see this.]

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