Discovering Nature: A Guide to McConnell State Recreation Area Campground

Nestled along the Merced River between Turlock and Merced, McConnell State Recreation Area Campground offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts. The campground, with 20 sites in a single loop, sits back from the river, providing a perfect blend of shaded tranquility under sycamores and cottonwoods. Ideal for floating downstream in canoes or rafts when water levels are safe, this area is also known for excellent fishing opportunities for black bass and catfish.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for Campers Camping Here the First Time

  • Water Safety: When enjoying the Merced River, prioritize safety by wearing life jackets, especially when water levels are conducive to swimming, rafting, or canoeing.
  • Campground Accessibility: Select campsites based on your preferences, whether tents only, suitable for small RVs or trailers, or specific sites with wheelchair accessibility.
  • Reservation Benefits: Take advantage of the reservation system, available up to 6 months in advance, ensuring you secure your spot at McConnell State Recreation Area Campground.
  • Group Camping: If planning a group outing, consider the two group campsites, equipped with 20 amp electric hook-ups, accommodating larger gatherings.
  • Evening Generator Etiquette: Respect quiet hours from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM, and operate generators only between 10 AM and 8 PM for a peaceful camping experience.

Top Strategies and Tactics to Get the Most Out of Camping Here

  • Optimal Camping Season: McConnell State Recreation Area Campground is open year-round, offering flexibility for camping during favorable seasons like spring and fall when temperatures are mild.
  • River Exploration: Explore the Merced River by floating downstream in canoes or rafts, taking in the picturesque surroundings. Check water levels to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Nearby Attractions: Extend your adventure by exploring nearby attractions such as George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area or historic Coulterville.
  • Recreation Variety: Enjoy diverse recreational activities, from swimming on the beach to fishing for bass and catfish, providing a well-rounded camping experience.
  • Family-Friendly Activities: With several family-friendly activities nearby, including trampolining, go-karting, and wildlife refuge tours, plan for an enriching family camping trip.

Recommendations on What Camping Gear to Use

  • Life Jackets: As water safety is a priority, pack well-fitted life jackets for all water-related activities, ensuring a secure experience on the Merced River.
  • Camping Essentials: Pack standard camping gear, including a sturdy tent, sleeping bags, and camping chairs. Utilize provided amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and food lockers.
  • Apparel for Varying Temperatures: Due to temperature variations, bring layered clothing to stay comfortable, especially during cooler evenings.
  • Fishing Gear: If you’re a fishing enthusiast, bring appropriate gear to enjoy the excellent fishing opportunities for black bass and catfish.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: For detailed gear recommendations on camping, cooking, and outdoor activities, check our gearlist account for insights into maximizing your camping experience.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and recreational diversity of McConnell State Recreation Area Campground, where the Merced River sets the stage for a memorable camping retreat. Whether you’re seeking water adventures, fishing excursions, or simply a tranquil escape, McConnell State Recreation Area promises an enriching experience surrounded by California’s Central Valley charm.