A new gateway to the western side of Big Basin State park is reconnecting visitors to Rancho del Oso. California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, and Waddell Creek Association opened the 684-square-foot Rancho del Oso Welcome Center, with its 480-square-foot observation deck on Oct. 28. Here, in a valley, with views of a captivating marsh and the ocean, visitors can learn from interactive exhibits about the area’s plants, animals, human history, fire recovery, and recreational opportunities. From the center, visitors can explore nearby trails, including the Marsh Trail, which leads past delicate ferns, lichen-draped trees, placid Waddell Creek, and thickets alive with birdsong and the ribbits of frogs. Learn MORE.