Knight's Ferry Recreation Area is a section of the Stanislaus River that had been developed for day use. There are many. many areas to picnic and there are trails all over the place. (I wish I could have found a trail map - but I am not sure that one exists.) Obviously, the locals love this area, and it gets a lot of use.
It is important to note that this area is located in Knight's Ferry - about 10 miles east of Oakdale - it is not in Modesto.
There is historical significance to this area. On the northern side of the River are ruins of a mill turned hydroelectric plant. You can walk up to the ruins, but not in and around them. There are historical plaques explaining the significance of the ruins - which is cool.
Of course, the well-maintained, absolutely beautiful covered bridge is the highlight of this park. You can walk across the bridge. It is not open to vehicle traffic.
My kids enjoyed climbing on the rocks next to bridge. There are rocks all along the river. They could have spent all day climbing.
On the northeast side of the covered bridge, many locals were hiking on various trails that probably led to fishing and swimming holes. We didn't have time to explore.
There were several parking areas. They are more or less all the same walking distance from the river and the covered bridge.
Don't forget to check out the town of Knight's Ferry - it's cute.
This is a GREAT place for kids and pets. We love to walk and climb around on the rocks by the river, make the hike up the big hill, or just relax beside the river by the picnic area. After a great day of recreation, we stop by the ice cream shop in Knights Ferry for a wonderful treat. This is our favorite place to spend a nice sunny day.
Stop in at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Information Center for information andmaps on where to camp and fish on the Stan. Cast for big rainbow trout in the rapids, riffles, and deep pools between Goodwin Dam and Oakdale. Try for bass and catfish below Orange Blossom Bridge. Rabid river rafters put in above Knights Ferry for 4 miles of surging whitewater. Canoes and lighter-weight craft should stick to the river below Knights Ferry.The 355-foot-long covered bridge is the longest west of the Mississippi, crossingthe river near an old gristmill.
Closed to vehicles, this is a scenic spot for photos. The park here has pretty picnic areas with barbecues. At the northeast end of the bridge, a hiking trail leads to sandy beaches and to swimming and fishing holes.