Published on September 1, 2023
California State Parks Encourages Visitors to Recreate Responsibly This Labor Day Weekend
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Enjoy outdoor adventures with essential safety tips and innovative tools
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As Labor Day weekend approaches, California State Parks is excited to welcome outdoor enthusiasts to the state’s diverse landscapes of trails, beaches, lakes, mountains and deserts. However, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, the department encourages visitors to "Recreate Responsibly" by following important safety tips such as Know Before You Go, Plan and Prepare, Play It Safe and Leave No Trace. To further enhance safety and park experiences, State Parks also invites visitors to use the department’s innovative smartphone apps—what3words and OuterSpatial.
“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.”
Here are some safety tips for the Labor Day holiday weekend and links to the what3words and OuterSpatial apps:
- Know Before You Go: Before embarking on your outdoor journey, it is crucial to gather essential information about the park unit you intend to visit. Check for any current park updates, trail closures or other unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, keep an eye on local weather forecasts to prepare adequately for your trip. Access the park unit webpage or social media channels of your destination to stay informed and well-prepared.
- Plan and Prepare: Certain park activities, camping or recreational pursuits might require permits or reservations. Make sure you are aware of these requirements and secure them in advance. Equally important is having the right gear for your chosen activity. Adequate equipment can significantly enhance your experience and safety. Always have a backup plan in case your original destination or activity is unavailable.
- Play It Safe: Be cautious and avoid underestimating factors like temperatures and hiking distances. Inform someone about your plans, especially if you are undertaking longer hikes. If you plan to enter bodies of water such as rivers, lakes or oceans, only do so where it is safe and recommended. When in or on water, wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Always adhere to signs and guidelines for a secure experience.
- Leave No Trace: Preserving the beauty of California's state parks is a shared responsibility. Stay on designated trails and carry out all your trash. Refrain from disturbing wildlife or removing plants. Please leave these areas better than you found them for future generations to enjoy.
- Use apps to stay safe and enhance your experience in the outdoors:
- what3words: Use the what3words app to communicate precise locations within any of the 280 state parks using just three words. This tool aids dispatchers in emergency situations, enabling assistance to those in need. Share locations with family and friends, and provide directions to events, trails or campsites using this convenient app.To learn more on how the app works, visit parks.ca.gov/what3words.
- OuterSpatial: Discover the ultimate guide to California's state parks with the OuterSpatial app. Navigate through interactive maps, receive real-time updates and stay connected with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Enhance your exploration by monitoring visits, completing challenges like the Passport to Your California State Parks and sharing memorable experiences.
Read the press release here.