201. Welcome to Fort Ord Dunes State Park

201. Introduction to Fort Ord Dunes State Park

Location: Outdoor Exhibit Shelter in parking lot (by stairs) 

Fort Ord Dunes State Park opened to the public on March 3rd, 2009, a transformation from a former US Army base, Fort Ord, to a California State Park. Visitors now have four miles of beach and 979 acres of coastal dunes to enjoy by participating in sunbathing, beach walks, coastal trail hiking, bike riding, or simply enjoying the spectacular views.

The story of how Fort Ord became a California State Park is an interesting one. In 1991, when the Pentagon decided to close the Fort Ord Army base, California State Parks submitted an application on behalf of the people of California to acquire this coastal land. The application for the property acquisition was approved in 1994.

Before State Parks could open up this new park, many things needed to happen. The Army had to remove 162,800 cubic yards of lead contaminated soil due to ammunitions residue from the 15 former firing ranges located within the new park boundaries. 75 small buildings, also associated with the former firing ranges, were demolished. Lastly, a General Plan was approved for Fort Ord Dunes State Park in 2004.

The property was transferred from the U.S. Army to the National Park Service in 2006, followed by California State Parks assuming operational control and responsibility for the land.

Much of the work to create the new Fort Ord Dunes State Park was completed due to the persistent vision of former California State Parks, Monterey District Services Manager, Ken Gray, who worked for 18 years to turn that vision into reality.

While you are at the park, we ask that you follow park rules and regulations to ensure the park is enjoyed by all visitors:

·       Your safety is very important, and if you choose to visit the beach, remember to respect the power of the ocean and never turn your back on the waves.

·       The ocean view cliffs of Fort Ord State Park are very unstable – we ask that visitors stay away from the cliff edges and not climb up the cliffs from the beach.

·       Dogs on leash are allowed on park bike and walking trails, but they are not allowed on the beach.

·       Please “Pack it Out”– remember to throw away your litter in provided trash cans in the parking lot.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Fort Ord Dunes State Park!

The mobile phone audio tour will help you learn more about Fort Ord's past and its future. To continue the Mobile phone tour, please enter the next stop number.