Yuba County, Calif., is in escrow to buy a 90-acre campground and recreational vehicle park on Highway 20 in the foothills with plans to open it for full community access this summer, according to the Appeal-Democrat, Marysville.

Kevin Mallen, the county’s community services and development director, said Sycamore Ranch Campground will eventually be joined with the existing Hammon Grove Park to its east in a 121-acre regional park with Yuba River access, campgrounds, picnic areas and more.

“We had a perfect alignment here,” Mallen said, describing how the county created a parks master plan not long before a real estate agent for Sycamore Ranch, which was in private hands, asked the county to buy it.

The county had money from construction fees collected during the housing boom of the last decade to buy land toward creating a regional park, which was identified as a goal in the parks master plan.

County supervisors approved spending $575,000 to buy the land at their meeting Tuesday (March 2), on a 5-0 vote. “It’s not too often everything lines up this way,” Mallen said.

Escrow for the property purchase is set to close in 60 days, Mallen said, with the county hoping to formally open the park for access soon after. Visitors now must pay a fee to use the park’s campground or river access points.

Mallen said the property includes one of the few stands of sycamore trees in the county and is bisected by Dry Creek. The property’s southern end has 1,500 feet of access to the river. The property also has a restroom facility with showers, an office/store, two open buildings for various uses and a caretaker home.

RV users will still be able to use the park. The campground areas only occupy a small part of the park’s total acreage, he said, and the county will study the best way to open access to more of it.

“One immediate change is that the public will be able to drive down to the river,” he said. “River access is being preserved.”

That will come as welcome news to fly fishers and other river users who are concerned about losing access farther east on the river because of a salmon habitat restoration project being planned by the South Yuba River Citizens League and Western Aggregates under the Parks Bar Bridge.