Discover Hendy Woods: A Premier Camping Destination in Northern California

Hendy Woods State Park | Introduction

Hendy Woods State Park is located in Northern California. This state park, about a 45-minute drive southeast of the town of Mendocino and situated more inland on Highway 128, boasts two virgin coast redwood forests and the Navarro River, making it an ideal state park for camping. In ancient times, Hendy Woods State Park was inhabited by the Pomo Native Americans, and it later became a logging site. It was not until 1958 that it was designated as a state park to protect the coast redwood forests. Hendy Woods State Park, much like other state parks in California that began to be protected around the same time, is named after a 19th-century landowner, Joshua Hendy.

Coming from the Bay Area, it is about a two and a half hours’ drive and can also be planned as a 2-3 days weekend getaway that includes forest sights and other attractions near Mendocino with an overnight stay in Mendocino. If not staying overnight, planning 2-3 hours for this spot is quite sufficient. The park is precisely located within the range of Northern California’s wine country, Anderson Valley, so those interested in fine wines could consider making a detour to Anderson Valley wineries for wine tasting.

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Hendy Woods State Park | Campgrounds

  • Comfort: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Space: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cleanliness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Convenience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The campgrounds at Hendy Woods State Park are surrounded by coastal redwoods, offering a cool retreat during the summer. The area is spacious enough, and it is frequently ranked among the top ten most popular camping destinations in Northern California. However, it is relatively difficult to find nearby restaurants or gas stations. One would have to travel about half an hour to towns like Mendocino for such amenities, making it more suitable for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. The park features numerous trails that are generally easy, making it perfect for family outings.

The park has a total of 92 campsites, and also offers 4 simple cabins for rent.

Big Hendy Grove Trail

Hendy Grove State Park contains two patches of primeval redwood forests, totaling about 80 acres, named Big Hendy and Little Hendy. The most popular trail is the Big Hendy Grover Trail. This trail actually includes several branches, starting from the picnic area in front of the Discovery Trail, and you can choose the route based on your own physical condition. We completed the loop trail connected by the Discovery Trail and the Upper Loop Trail, returning to the starting point covering approximately 1.6 miles, which was more than enough in two hours.

Most of the trail is very gentle, making it suitable for the elderly, children, and the whole family to go on an outing, walking among the coastal redwoods. Ahead, the Discovery Walk has some spots that explain knowledge about the California coastal redwoods. When we went to Redwood National Park before, we learned about it, and it was great to review it here again.

California's coastal redwood forests used to be ten to a hundred times larger than they are now. The dense forests have only been preserved through the efforts of national and state parks. As previously mentioned, Hendy Woods was named after Joshua Hendy, an English-born blacksmith who moved from Texas to California to seek his fortune during the Gold Rush. He built a large sawmill on the Navarro River. The nearby redwood forest's preservation can also be credited to Hendy, who, upon his death in 1891, bequeathed his property to his nephews with the stipulation that they protect this coastal redwood forest. Therefore, despite numerous changes in land ownership, the forest has remained preserved.

Coastal redwoods have strong vitality, and we can see that many trees still stand, bearing fire scars from being burned.

After completing the Discovery trail and still craving more, we naturally proceeded to the upper loop. This forest boasts ancient trees that reach up to 300 feet tall and are 1000 years old, making our walk truly pleasant.

The circular trail allows us to return to the starting point whenever we wish, by simply walking towards the picnic area. As we head back, upon exiting the woods, a wide-open grassland suddenly appears before us. This is the picnic area next to the parking lot where we started, and the scenery is incredibly beautiful and comfortable.

Further reading

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