Stanislaus River Parks to charge day use fees for the first time

Published March 14, 2016
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District is set to begin charging a $5 day use fee for park access beginning May 1 at Stanislaus River Parks near Oakdale.  

The “per vehicle” fee will cover all day use activities to include rafting, kayaking, swimming, hiking, fishing and barbecuing.   

A total of seven fee machines will be positioned throughout the park. There will be two at the Knights Ferry south lot and one in the north lot, two at the McHenry Recreation Area, one in the rafter’s parking lot and one at the Orange Blossom Recreation Area.

Vehicles displaying the Corps park annual pass or an interagency America The Beautiful pass are not required to pay the fee. Both annual passes are available for purchase at park headquarters, located in the Knights Ferry Recreation Area. 

While a vast majority of Corps parks have a day use fee, this is the first time Stanislaus River Parks will implement the fee. However, park manager Tom Ehrke believes it’s in the best interest of visitors to begin charging the fees to maintain an appropriate level of service as visitation and operating costs continue to climb. 

“We have to start charging this day use fee so we can keep up with the costs of preserving our recreation areas,” Ehrke said. “Even with the newly established fee, Stanislaus remains one of the most competitively priced parks in the area to visit.”

The fee machines will be installed March 16-17 but visitors will not be required to pay until the program officially begins on May 1.

Camping fees remain unchanged.

A full list of Stanislaus River Parks fees is available on the park website:

The Stanislaus River Parks are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District. The Corps is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, hosting more than 370 million visitors per year at 422 lakes and river parks.

Luke Burns

Release no. 16-009