|Sunset at Caswell Memorial State Park|
|The Stanislaus River in Caswell State Park|
Caswell Memorial State Park preserves 258 acres (about 2/5 of a square mile) of woodlands along the Stanislaus River near Ripon and Modesto. It's been developed at one end into a campground and picnic area, but the rest is managed as a de facto wilderness area, traversed only by a few trails, and consisting mostly of dense oak forest with an impenetrable undergrowth of shrubs and bushes (including a lot of poison oak, which discourages off-trail travel.
|A "slough", or abandoned river meander in Caswell Memorial State Park|
natural habitat of the Riparian Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani riparius), a subspecies of the Cottontail. The original counts in the early 1990s suggested that only 200 or 300 of the rabbits remained, but the floods of 1997 were catastrophic, and only a few seemed to have survived in the park. Some were later found living in the San Joaquin Delta area, and a small population has been established at a ranch just downstream. Many of the rabbits have been captive-bred, trying to ensure their survival.