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McGrath State Beach, Oxnard
(2.3/5 based on 20+ reviews on the web)
McGrath State Beach is a protected beach park located on the south bank of the mouth of Santa Clara River in the city of Oxnard, California. McGrath State Beach is one of the best bird-watching areas in California, with the lush riverbanks of the Santa Clara River and sand dunes along the shore. A nature trail leads to the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve. Camping sites are available. Two miles of beach provide surfing and fishing opportunities. Just south of the station is the undeveloped Mandalay Beach Park which is about a mile downcoast beach walk from the park or a bike ride along Harbor Blvd. Located south of Ventura on Harbor Boulevard, the beach is on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and the California Coastal Trail.The park overlies the productive West Montalvo Oil Field and oil wells are in an enclosure just behind the beach that are operated by Venoco, Inc., and slant-drill into the offshore part of the field. A bit farther downcoast is the Mandalay Generating Station – the stack is easily visible from the beach – owned by Reliant Energy.The park often closes in winter but a lack of funding to repair the infrastructure, specifically a rusting sewage pipe, closed the park in 2011 until repairs could be made. Flooding has been a continuing problem. The water level in the estuary rises when the winter rains fail to breach the sand bar at the mouth of the river. When campgrounds and necessary facilities flood, the park closes until conditions changes. The beach and McGrath Lake are available during the closures but access is limited to walking from an adjacent area. Surfers Knoll Park on the beach on the north side of Ventura Harbor can be used to access by walking south across the sand bar at the mouth of Santa Clara River.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Past flooding and no repair work being done. Stay away. CLOSED. This place is a hazard and there are no park rangers there unless checking for trespassers. This use to be a great place for primitive b...  more »
  • This was a great place to camp out,bbq,hike on the beach! Due to water issues there is some flooding and the CA government has claimed poverty and closed this great place 
  • I can only say terrible because it's a terrible thing that this once great park is closed to the public. I hope the state fixes the problems and it can be opened at sometime in the future. 
Google
  • DEFINITELY CLOSED. Actually, indefinitely closed.
  • I think it's so cool the beach has my last name in itπŸ˜πŸ‘
  • I just went camping at McGrath and absolutely loved it! Our campground host Ralph and his wife Debbie were super friendly and helpful. The park rangers also did an excellent job of keeping everyone safe and happy. I loved hanging out with friends, strolling along the beach, and making s'mores! I highly recommend visiting this campground!
  • It was great every body was very nice and help full and my kids loved the lawn tractor ride
  • Drove all the way up there only to see the big CLOSED sign