Address:39°10'43.0"N 123°41'35.6"W (This park stretches 11 miles along highway 128. These are the approximate coordinates for the swimming hole) Parking: Free parking along the side of the road Hours: Not posted Type: Hike (easy)/ swim Regulations: Dogs allowed on-leash Best time to visit: Anytime. The large trees provide shade on hot days. There is also a beach and swimming hole. Facilities: We did not find any restrooms or trash cans during our visit, so please pack out what you bring along. Description:Navarro River Redwoods State Park is a 660-acre park along Navarro River, which runs for 11 miles along highway 128. This is a beautiful drive through the redwoods, but it’s difficult to find trails. This park does not have great signage, there is no reception here, and there is little information available about the park online. The first time we visited, we drove through the entire park just looking for a trailhead and passed the entire park. We found that you have to leave your vehicle to find trails, as signs are often sunken 50ft in from the road, often covered by vegetation and therefore not visible or barely visible from the highway. We made the mistake of pulling down a side road to a campground with a similar name, and ultimately found out that you can just pull over off of highway 128 into the dirt and hike. We only explored trails on the river side, but we saw some yellow and white fire gates on the other side that probably led to trails we were not able to find. The difficulty of finding trails and lack of available information make this park special, because not many know about it. When we visited we only ran into one other person during our entire hike. Most people visit the beach along the coast, but the miles of redwood groves along highway 128 are less traveled.
I would recommend hiking on the river side, which is where we found most of the trails. This requires pulling off the road on your way back (when you’re leaving the coast). We hiked around “Maggie’s Grove” and also found trails near the sign “Barbara Hebner and Linda Hebner Fletcher.” There are groves of large, second growth redwoods disbursed throughout the park. One of our favorite areas was just past mile marker 3.92, where there is ample room to park off the side of the road. There is a moss-covered fallen tree so large that you can actually get inside of and climb on top of it. We managed to find trails all throughout this area and hiked a couple flat miles on trails running next to the water.
Another great area is at mile marker 3.66. There is a beautiful swimming hole only a short walk from the road. The swimming hole is not visible from the road and there is no signage, so it’s not going to be obvious. You will probably have to pull over and look at the mile markers to find it. The water is a beautiful turquoise color and there is a small beach alongside it. There’s even a rope swing hung from a tree, but I’m not recommending it due to safety concerns. This is a wonderful spot to come relax and enjoy a swim.