US Army Corps of Engineers
Sacramento District Website


Stanislaus River Parks


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. View Map

Directions:
From Oakdale, 12 miles east on State Route 108/120 to Kennedy Road. Follow the signs to the project 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 project is open all year. Recreation Area Hours: 6:00 a.m. - Sunset.


Day-use recreation areas are open. Use of the Visitor Center, campgrounds and group picnic shelters is prohibited and the project office remains closed to visitors.

All 2020 camping reservations have been refunded through Recreation.gov. We are working with our federal, state and local partners to determine a reopening date and want to ensure the public and our staff are as safe as possible. Once we have established a reopening date, visitors will once again be able to make reservations through​ Recreation.gov.

 Recreation Area Services Status


Visitor Center:
Located in historic Knights Ferry, the Visitor 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 project office.

Environmental Camping:
Three campgrounds offer a unique camping experience. Group camping sites are accessible by boat or foot. Individual sites are for boat-in 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 must be reserved in advance.

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 Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, with special regulations in April and early May. For more info on fishing regulations and licenses, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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
  • Boat-in, Environmental Camping - $20

The Corps of Engineers participates in the America the Beautiful-Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series. The series includes the; Annual Pass, Every Kid Outdoors Pass available to 4th and 5th graders, 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 projects as the money is directly invested back into the facilities to improve your recreational experience. Get more details about the pass series here.

The Annual Pass is $80, and you will have access to all of your favorite Corps recreation areas 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 project and is good for one year from the date of purchase.


Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Watching children closely when around water.
  • Keeping your pets on a leash at all times.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Maintaining quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Operating vehicles only on designated roads and parking areas provided.
  • Camping only in designated campsites.
  • Helping clean up litter and keeping a neat campsite.
  • Reporting safety hazards to project staff.
  • Reading the project rules, copies of which are posted throughout the facility.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers park rangers and deputies of the Stanislaus and San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff, or dial 9-1-1.

Corps Recreation Across our Nation

Volunteer at a Corps Recreation Area

State Hunting & Fishing Regulations

Recreation on Federal Lands

Project Documents:
Rules and Regulations: Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property Chapter III - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Part 327 - Rules and regulations governing public use of Water Resources Development Projects administered by the Chief of Engineers.