Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hendy Woods

(New growth on redwood branch)
I visited Hendy Woods today, located in the Anderson Valley along the 128. These are the last of the ancient redwoods that remain growing along the Navarro River as far as I can tell. At 845 acres, its a gem of a park. It costs 8 dollars for day use, a fee I am not used to, but I guess its OK. It's worth it to keep the park open, and to use whatever facilities they offer.
 Hendy Woods is on the California State Park closure list, and was scheduled to close in July.
"What's the current status of the park?" I asked the ranger at the fee booth.
 "We will be open for another year!" The ranger happily answered.
Thanks to donations, Save the Redwoods League, and a newly formed nonprofit organization called Hendy Woods Community Inc., they have raised enough money and recruited enough volunteers to keep the park open. More information can be found here. 
 Even better, Kris Kristofferson will be performing a benefit concert for Hendy Woods on Wednesday, July 8, 2012 at 8pm. I will definitely try to be there. Again, check the link above for more information.
 Overall, it was a great day to be in the redwoods. There were more people visiting this park than I am used to seeing. Several families with young kids enjoying the forest. Also, it was warmer in the forest than I am used to. I could walk around comfortably in a t-shirt.
 One of the great features of this park is the opportunity to enjoy the Navarro River. I walked out onto a sandy beach to eat lunch, and relished the cool breeze, bright sunshine, warm temperatures, and free flowing, shallow water. At one point, a couple of teen-aged girls walked near to where I was sitting and found a good spot to wade into the creek. They saw me, and I saw them, and I continued eating my lunch.
Just then, I heard the mother of one of the girls calling her daughter. The daughter replied,
"What do you want mom, this place is fine!"
"I want you to come back where we are sitting where I can see you," the mother responded.
"This spot is safe mom, the current isn't bad at all!" the daughter protested.
"The current isn't what I am worried about!" the mom explained.
(Oh no, I knew where this was going. Sometimes, it's a tad uncomfortable to be a lone male doing anything involving the outdoors around families.)
"We are fine right here mom!"
"There are a lot of strangers out here!" the mom said. "I can't help you if you get kidnapped!"
At this point, the daughter was still putting up a verbal protest. I had finished my lunch so decided to give the mom some peace of mind by leaving the scene. I can't blame her really, I also feel that humans are the most dangerous animals around. I still felt a tad bummed that we are all so fearful of one another.
 I re-entered the forest and walked down to the Little Hendy Grove. Here I found this wall of wood, growing near the park boundary. Surprisingly, it only had a circumference at breast height of 49 feet 1 in. I have come across singular trees with larger circumferences. Needless to say, this wall of wood was on the thin side.
Overall, another great day. Hendy Woods is worth the visit. The Navarro is fantastic, and the drive is gorgeous as well.


  1. I'm glad they're able to keep the park open for a while longer. It looks gorgeous!

    Seems like the mother should have taken into account that you'd paid your $8 to get in and so were probably not a crazy person. Then again, I can't blame her for being on the nervous side. You never know about people.

  2. Hi Kate, I can't blame her either, especially with all the stories in the news. Hendy Woods is a fantastic park. The community really rallied to keep it open.