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Stanislaus River Parks

Welcome! Stanislaus River Parks offers as its centerpiece a 330 foot long historic covered bridge built in 1863. Additionally, nine beautifully developed parks are located along the river as it stretches from the Sierra Nevada foothills to its confluence with the San Joaquin River.

The parks, developed after the completion of New Melones Dam, provide access to the river for white-water rafting, canoeing, hiking, and camping.


Location:
The Stanislaus River Parks Headquarters are located in Knights Ferry, twelve miles east of Oakdale on State Route 108/120.

Directions:

From Oakdale, 12 miles east on State Route 108/120 to Kennedy Road.
Follow the signs to the Park Headquarters.
 Simple map to Stanislaus River Parks

Mailing Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Stanislaus River Parks
17968 Covered Bridge Road
Oakdale, CA 95361-9510

Telephone:
209-881-3517
FAX 209-881-3203

E-mail:
stanislaus-info@usace.army.mil

Business Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Visitor Center Hours: 
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The park is open all year.


Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:
  • Keeping your pets on a leash.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Protecting your park, do not deface structures or remove vegetation.
  • Riding horses in undeveloped areas only.
  • Leaving weapons home. Firearms and ammunition are not allowed in recreation areas.
  • Helping clean up litter.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers rangers and deputies of the Stanislaus and San Joaquin County Sheriff's Departments. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff.

Useful Links:

Every Kid in a Park: 4th graders can get free parks access.

Bobber the Water Safety Dog: Information on water safety for children.

Operation Dry Water: Learn about the dangers of BUI - Boating Under the Influence of alcohol.

National Water Safety Program: Information that could help save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Recreation at Stanislaus River Parks

Information Center:

Located in historic Knights Ferry, the information center describes the rich history of the Stanislaus River and surrounding area. Display topics include salmon life cycles, Native American culture, the nearby covered bridge and a century-old flour mill. A short video introduction to the parks is available for viewing. Special programs may be set up by calling the park office.

Environmental Camping:

Three campgrounds offer a unique camping experience for groups or individuals. Access is by boat, foot, or bicycle only. Campgrounds at Horseshoe Road, Valley Oak and McHenry Avenue Recreation Areas provide picnic tables, restrooms, garbage cans and fire pits. Drinking water is available only at the McHenry Avenue Recreation Area. Camping is by permit only and reservations are recommended.

Boating:

The four miles of rapids above Knights Ferry draw white-water enthusiasts from throughout the world. Experience and professional quality white-water equipment are required as some rapids are classified for teams of experts only. The river below Knights Ferry offers more tranquil boating for less experienced water enthusiasts. Bring your own or rent equipment from one of several local concessionaires. The use of motorized boats is limited

 Check the river flow before boating

  • From Goodwin Dam to Horseshoe Road: No motors allowed
  • Horseshoe Road Recreation Area to Orange Blossom Recreation Area: Electric motors only
  • Orange Blossom Recreation to Highway 120 Bridge (Oakdale): 10 Horsepower gas motors / 5 MPH speed limit
  • Highway 120 Bridge (Oakdale) to San Joaquin River: No restrictions

Fishing:

The river is open to fishing from January 1 to March 31, and the fourth Saturday in May to October 31 each year. Trout, smallmouth bass, striped bass, carp, channel and white catfish and black crappie tempt anglers. Special regulations restrict bait, size and possession limits. The entire river is closed to fishing from November 1 to December 31 for protection of the fall Chinook salmon run.

Day Use:

The possibilities are endless - hiking, boating, photography, picnicking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and camping are but a few examples. All parks offer picnicking facilities, restrooms, and access to the river. Historic buildings and access to the upper river canyon draw visitors to the Knights Ferry Recreation Area. Take a self-guided walk through history and see the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi River, a designated National Historic Landmark. Many of the Stanislaus River Parks locations provide opportunities to enjoy quiet river landscape. Come and explore!

Hiking:

Hiking trails in Goodwin Canyon, Knights Ferry, Orange Blossom, Valley Oak and McHenry Avenue offer short tours of lush river woodlands. Preservation of the natural habitat is a major objective of the Stanislaus River Park System.

Fees:

  • Day Use Fee: $5
  • Group Camp: $50 - $60
  • Group Picnic: $40 - $50
  • Special Use: $75 - $100
  • *Environmental Camping: $20 (*Access by boat, foot or bicycle only)

The Corps of Engineers participates in the America the Beautiful-Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series. The series includes the; Annual Pass, Annual 4th Grade Pass, Annual Senior Pass, Lifetime Senior Pass, Lifetime Access Pass, Volunteer Pass, and Military Pass. Be sure to pick up your America the Beautiful pass at any of our Corps parks as the money is directly invested back into the facilities to improve your recreational experience. Get more details about the pass series here http://1.usa.gov/1T6TRMt.

The Annual Pass is a onetime purchase of $80. You will have access to all of your favorite Corps parks, and participating federal agencies public lands. The Annual Pass is good for one year from the date of purchase.

Individuals 62 years and older have the choice of purchasing an Annual Senior Pass for $20 which is good for one year from the date of purchase, or a Lifetime Senior Pass for $80, which does not expire. Senior and Access Pass holders also receive a 50 percent discount on campsites at Corps-managed campgrounds.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also sells their Corps Annual Pass for $40. The Corps Annual Pass gives unlimited access to day-use areas at any Corps park for one calendar year at the date of purchase.

 

Stanislaus Views

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HISTORIC WEEKEND
Civil War reenactment troops fire off a cannon shot while audience members take in the view from the hillside at Sacramento District’s Stanislaus River Parks in Knights Ferry, California. The event is held annually over a two-day period.
Salmon egg bracelets
ALL THINGS CHINOOK
The Chinook salmon is celebrated as visitors create drawings, paintings, hand-painted T-shirts and other crafts during the annual Salmon Festival, at Stanislaus River Parks.
Fishing the Stanislaus River
FISHING THE STANISLAUS
A young fisherman casts into the Stanislaus River, just below the scenic covered bridge.
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RANGER ON DUTY
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park ranger Heather Wright paddles along a quiet stretch of the Stanislaus River.
A quiet stroll
STROLL THROUGH NATURE
Stanislaus River Parks is a great place for a peaceful walk along quiet paths with beautiful scenery and river views.

Conservation

   

 

image - one less spark, one less fire