Navarro River Redwoods State Park
A tunnel of trees to the sea
HIGHLIGHTS: Navarro River Redwoods State Park is as long and skinny as the river corridor it protects. Most people motor through it on Highway 128 in 15 minutes. But that doesn't mean they don't enjoy the tall trees here that create a "tunnel from the redwoods to the sea," as locals describe it. Save the Redwoods League purchased the land for this 660-acre park in 1987.
ACTIVITIES: Picnicking, camping, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, swimming. The most popular swimming hole is at milepost marker 3.66.
VISITOR CENTER: As of 2010, the Navarro Park office was closed. Trash cans have been removed, so you must pack out your own refuse. Toilet facilities are limited.
CAMPGROUNDS: Paul M. Dimmick Campground has 23 sites along the river, 8 miles inland from the Pacific. It's available on a first-come, first-served basis.
TRAILS: No official trails. Kayaking or canoeing is the best way to explore.
MUST-SEE UNIQUE FEATURE OR SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT: A river trip will put you unobtrusively inside the forest for excellent wildlife viewing. You can launch either at the Dimmick campground or at the mouth of the river. Be sure to time your trip to avoid floods and take advantage of the tides. The best season is late winter or spring. Once you're on the water, look for great blue herons, river otters, kingfishers and black-tailed deer.
HIDDEN GEM: Hardy adventurers may want to try one of the 10 campsites at Navarro Beach Campground. This windy, primitive outpost has few amenities, but how often do you get to spend a night beside the Pacific Ocean? The access road lies on the south side of the Navarro River Bridge. First come, first served.
STOP: Regan suggests stopping at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Boonville. You can taste some amazing beers but be sure to have a designated driver with you. Or, stop at one of the wineries along 128 to see what goodies the Anderson Valley is producing.
FAVORITE HIKE: Take the trail along the river out to the Pacific Ocean and the beach.
FAVORITE PARK ATTRACTION: This park is located on highway 128 about six miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and is great for a family day. The highway, a highly scenic route, follows the Navarro River from Dimmick through what is known locally as "the Tunnel of Redwoods-to-the-Sea."
DON'T MISS: Regan suggests a stop at the Gowan's Oak Tree apple stand on 128. You can purchase a variety of apples, both fresh and dried, and don't forget to buy a gallon of their fresh apple cider.
Tell us your favorite stops, hikes, places to eat, and more when visiting this park!
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