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Hendy Woods State Park

Gentle Giants, Discovery, Navarro River Trails

3 miles round trip

Drive inland a bit from the forever-foggy Mendocino County Coast and you’ll find sunny meadows, a pastoral valley of apple orchards, vineyards and farm houses, plus tall redwoods that escaped the logger’s ax.

Hendy Woods, a twenty mile drive from the coast, is warmer, and has an altogether different vibe than the other coastal redwood parks.

The land now comprising the state park was purchased a century ago by foundry owner Joshua P. Hendy, who later sold his land to the Masonite Corporation; the corporation, in cooperation with the Save-the-Redwoods League, donated 405 acres to the state parks system in 1958.

While Hendy Woods, with two old-growth redwood groves, is rightly categorized as a “redwood park,” some locals are quick to point out that it could also be considered a “wine country park.” Anderson Valley, where the park is situated, is an emerging wine-making center.

Getting to the park is part of the fun: Highway 128, winds from Cloverdale on Highway 101 to the Mendocino Coast, following the Navarro River. Along the way are farmhouses, apple orchards, sheep, cows, vineyards, and the drowsy hamlets of Yorkville, Boonville, and Philo.

The Navarro River which runs the length of the park, offers swimming (wading, really) in summer, canoeing and kayaking during late winter and early spring. Redwoods grow tall along the banks of the Navarro.

Hikers will enjoy the half mile Discovery Trail, plus another nature trail, wheelchair accessible, that explores the redwoods.

This walk begins with a loop or two through the redwoods, then continues along the Navarro River.

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 1, about ten miles south of Mendocino, turn inland on Highway 128 and travel twenty miles to Philo Greenwood Road. Turn right and drive a half mile to the entrance of Hendy Woods State Park. Follow the park road 1.75 miles to its end at the picnic area.

(If you’re traveling Highway 128 northwest from Cloverdale/ Highway 101, you’ll proceed some eight miles past Boonville to the state park turnoff.)

Those New Age hikers staying at Shenoa Retreat or those folks staying at one of the other private resorts might want to begin this walk from the vicinity of Shenoa Retreat, located off Ray’s Road, 2.5 miles from Highway
128. However, this area is private property; unless you’re a guest at one of these facilities, you should start your walk at the state park.

The hike: From the picnic area, follow the path into the redwoods. You’ll wind through the old-growth redwoods and their neighboring trees— madrone, Douglas fir, bay laurel and more. Join the two-looped Discovery Trail, then take a right-forking trail that ascends to a gravel fire road.

After crossing a creek, travel through an area filled with impressive redwoods. You’ll pass two signed “Horse Trails” that lead down to some inviting swimming holes on the Navarro River.

Your turnaround point, about 1.5 miles from the trailhead, could be at the state park boundary or a mile farther near Shenoa Retreat on the far outskirts of Philo.

© 2012 The Trailmaster, Inc.
From John McKinney’s
Day Hiker’s Guide to California’s State Parks
Trail descriptions and maps have been reproduced with the permission of the author.  To learn more about The Trailmaster and other related publications please visit their website at