Note: All boat launch and most day use facilities at the Stanislaus River Parks are open for public recreation. Use of campgrounds, group shelters and playgrounds is still prohibited and all project offices remain closed to visitors.
The health and safety of the public, volunteers, and Corps personnel remains the top priority. Recreation area access could be restricted again if visitors do not adhere to social distancing guidelines or officials observe an unsafe number of large gatherings
The Knights Ferry Recreation Area is a beautiful, expansive park just east of downtown Knights Ferry. This park, maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers (209-881-3517) is a fantastic place to picnic, BBQ, hike, splash, learn and sightsee.
Knights Ferry Recreation Area
The Knights Ferry Recreation Area has multiple areas to park, and wherever you can find parking, you can find picnic areas and BBQ pits close by. Do note that if you park a vehicle in the park, there is a $5 day use fee per car. Knights Ferry Recreation Area is home to the information center, where you can stop and check out displays that cover the history of Knights Ferry, salmon migrations, as well as other details on local flora and fauna.
The Recreation Area also is home to the Knights Ferry Covered Bridge, a beautiful 330 foot long wooden bridge that spans the Stanislaus River. The iconic bridge is the jewel of Knights Ferry, and is a popular place to take photos. There is a foot path on the bridge so, if you feel up to it, you can cross the river in much the same fashion as people did a century ago!
Knights Ferry Recreation area also houses the best Knights Ferry hiking around. There is a 1.5 mile loop that is very mild, and includes sights such as the old flour mill (later converted into a hydroelectric station), the old post office, the Covered Bridge, and views of the lower part of Goodwin Canyon on the Stanislaus River. If you are bringing a pet, please make sure to bring a leash!
Recreation in the Park
The Knights Ferry Recreation Area is also the perfect place to start you river adventures on the gorgeous Stanislaus River. The area is a very popular spot for river rafting and kayaking, and marks the starting point for the increasingly popular Knights Ferry to Orange Blossom float trip. This mellow and scenic float is great for all ages 5 and up, and can be booked commercially by Sunshine Rafting Adventures either online or by calling 209-848-4800. The trip is also open to the public, but please do check local flow conditions before ever participating on any rafting trip you are taking privately.Book a Sunshine Rafting Adventure