Emma Wood State Beach is a linear state park that parallels Highway 101 west of the city of Ventura. The main day use area is at the south end of the state park near the mouth of the Ventura River. At this location there is a day-use beach access, a group camp, and a city park property called Seaside Wilderness Park. There are picnic tables on-site and hiking trails that lead to the Ventura River Estuary for excellent birding opportunities. A few paths from the parking areas lead over and under railroad tracks then down to a beach made up of smooth round rocks (sand can be found at the river mouth on south end of park).
On the beach near the mouth of the river there are two historic circular concrete structures that are gun mounts left over from World War II. They were built in 1942 after the Ellwood Oil Facility in Santa Barbara was attacked by a Japanese submarine.
Biking, walking, and running are popular on the four-mile long paved Omer Rains Bike Trail that connects Emma Wood State Beach to San Buenaventura State Beach. You’ll find the trail near the entrance booth.
To get there from downtown Ventura, head north on Main Street and take the first left after passing the Ventura Beach RV Park which leads right into Emma Wood State Beach (brown sign says Group Camp). Camping is available at Emma Wood North Beach (RVs only).
In 1956 this property was given to the state by Emma Wood’s husband who inherited it upon her death in 1944. It became a California State Park and was named in her memory in 1957.
The Ventura County shoreline has many incredible sandy beaches. For some travelers along the Central California Coast the idea of camping is more appealing than booking hotel rooms every night. Luckily there […]