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Massive Trees In Hendy Woods State Park

Hendy Woods State Park – Visit for the Trees

With trees as tall as skyscrapers and an understory of primeval ferns, a hike in Hendy Woods State Park just outside of Boonville, California will leave you with a sore neck from staring up for so long.

On the soggy day that we visited, we had the entire Hendy Woods Park to ourselves. We elected to do a loop hike in the Big Hendy area – a great choice as it turned out. From the minute we stepped onto the easy hiking trail we were in awe of not only the quiet but the sheer size of the massive redwood trees with some reaching heights of 300 feet. I can see why the area is a popular choice for picnickers on a fine day.

Within seconds of leaving the parking lot we are among giants
Within seconds of leaving the parking lot we are among giants

Hendy Woods State Park hiking

Hendy Woods is a small park compared to Humboldt Redwoods State Park (two hours north of Mendocino) with just two groves of old-growth coast redwood. It is thought that some of the trees are close to 1,000 years old.

Located in Anderson Valley, about three hours by car north of San Francisco, the surrounding area also has a lot to offer the visitor and is definitely worth a full day of exploring, more if you like a relaxed pace.

You get a sore neck looking up
You get a sore neck looking up
Man walking among the giant redwoods in Hendy Woods State Park
John walking among the giant redwoods in Hendy Woods State Park
Hendy Woods State Park hiking is almost a spiritual experience
It’s as close to a spiritual experience as I’ll get walking among the giant trees
Illustrating scale in Hendy Woods State Park
Illustrating scale
Looking way up into the redwoods Hendy Woods State Park
Looking way up into the redwoods 
Heading to Mendocino through a tunnel of green
Heading to Mendocino through a tunnel of green

Getting to Hendy Woods State Park

We approached the park from Highway 1 on the coast via the fabulous, scenic and very winding, Mountain View Road. It starts just north of Stornetta and ends in Boonville.

To finish in Mendocino, an hour’s drive away to the north we drove the equally unforgettable Highway 128 past vineyards and through tunnels of trees. You don’t want to miss  it.

The drive to the park through the fog from the coast is phenomenal - and moody
The drive to the park through the fog from the coast is phenomenal – and moody

A stop in Boonville, California

Stop in Boonville, a town known for its great food and wine but also for its unique slang language called Boontling – that was only understood by insiders with words unique to the area.It all but disappeared after WWII. 

Fortunately John and I ended up in a long conversation with one of the local wine owners (as this is Anderson Valley wine country) and got a little insight into some of the more unusual words. Two examples I laughed at were fogeaters, referring to people from the Mendocino Coast and Brightlighters, another name for people from San Francisco.

After you’ve stopped for lunch goodies at the Boonville General Store, pick a few wineries to visit. We enjoyed a tasting at Lichen Estate and Philips Hill Winery located on Highway 128 as you head east.

Although the Anderson Valley is only 15 miles long it does have a reputation for world-class Pinot Noir and Alsace varietals. We have two bottles in a wine fridge from our trip waiting for just the right moment to open.

Anderson Valley Wines
Anderson Valley Wines

I loved the laid back feel to this part of California. Next time you’ve got a trip planned to San Francisco add another three days so you can visit the Boonville to Mendocino area.

For more information about Hendy Woods State Park visit their website.

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Why You'll Want to Visit Hendy Woods State Park

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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