Hendy Woods has about 5 miles of trails, mostly easy or moderate, all within easy walking distance from the campgrounds.
• The All-Access Trail, near the parking area, is wheelchair accessible, along with the other trails in the Big Hendy Loop. (See item below and brochure map for details.)
• Big Hendy Loop (a combination of the All-Access, Discovery, Upper Loop, and Back Loop trails) offers 1.6 miles of level trails through 80 acres of lush old-growth redwood forest: a must-do for redwood aficionados.
• The Little Hendy Trail is a half-mile loop through the park’s smaller 20-acre redwood grove.
• Hermit Hut Trail leads to the rustic spot where the “Hendy Hermit,” a Russian immigrant, once lived alone among the trees. A trailside exhibit tells his story.
• Azalea Creek Trail is a gentle walk through the trees.
• Eagle Trail is a service trail between the day-use area and the campgrounds.
Big Hendy Upper Loop
1.4 miles, 20 foot elevation gain
From the picnic area, take the All-Access Trail into Big Hendy Grove. After crossing a bridge, follow the west side of the Discovery Trail to the Upper Loop and then head back around to the Discovery and All-Access trails again. The park is at most magnificent on the northeast side of the upper loop—open, with huge trees and a lush understory. You can explore the 0.2 mile Back Loop from the Upper Loop trail as well, but the Upper Loop trees are the heart of the grove.
Big Hendy Discovery Trail
0.6 miles, mostly flat.
For a self-guided introduction to the natural features in the park, try the Discovery Trail. Download the park's trail map and follow the numbered signs to learn all about coast redwoods—their roots, burls, and fire scars. You’ll also learn about some of the plants that thrive around them, including madrone, trillium, redwood sorrel, and California bay laurel.
Hermit Huts and Little Hendy
2.7 miles, 270 feet
While this loop skirts the park’s finest redwood grove, Big Hendy, it will give you a taste of Little Hendy and the park’s upland habitats and history.
Starting at the picnic area on the All-Access Trail, cross two bridges and turn left onto the Hermit Hut Trail. That leads up and out of the old-growth of Big Hendy. As the tree size decreases, the density of trailside huckleberries increases dramatically. Signs mark locations of the two hermit huts along the way. In less than a mile, the Hermit Hut Trail leads into the (fainter) Azalea Creek Trail. Follow that for 0.8 miles to the 20 acres of old-growth redwoods at Little Hendy Grove. Heading southeast from there, the Eagle Trail leads back to the All-Access Trail and the day-use area.
Bicycles are restricted to paved roads.
The Azalea and Wildcat campgrounds sit between the majestic Big Hendy and Little Hendy redwood groves. Each has more than 40 sites with tables, barbecue stoves, and food lockers. Piped drinking water and restrooms with hot showers are nearby. Between April 29 through September 30, you can reserve these campsites online at the Reservations link on the park home page or by calling 800-444-7275. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis during the rest of the year.
The park’s four cabins can be reserved year-round, either online by clicking the reservation link at the top of the park’s home page or by calling 800-444-7275. One cabin is ADA-compliant.
A primitive first-come, first-served hike-and-bike camp is set aside for people who pedal or walk into the park.
Fishing is not allowed in the park and has not been for several decades. However, fishing is permitted just outside the park entrance, down river from the Prune Belly Bridge on the Philo-Greenwood Road.
JUST FOR KIDS
During the peak summer months, Hendy Woods State Park staff presents many interpretive programs. Details are posted throughout the park. Nature walks and campfire programs are suitable for all ages. Junior Ranger programs are held for visitors age 7 to 12.
For a self-guided treasure hunt with a prize at the end, try the Hendy Woods State Park Quest. You can pick up a Quest brochure at the visitor center in Wildcat Campground. You and your kids can also work your way through a state park Adventure Guide. Download the guide here.
Before heading to the park, explore the Redwoods Learning Center, set up by Save the Redwoods League. It offers fun, redwood-themed activities, classroom tools, and ways to get involved in redwood protection. Redwoods bingo, anyone?
The park’s recently refurbished day-use area has 12 picnic sites near the banks of the Navarro River in full view of Big Hendy Grove. These facilities are all ADA-compliant. There’s no need to bring wood, charcoal, or compressed logs; wood is available at the ranger station. Please review the Don't Move Firewood caution on the park's home page.
Swimming is popular in summer under the Greenwood Road bridge. Visitors can wade in the river from the day-use area. Use caution and wear covered water shoes. No lifeguards are present.
On the north side of Wildcat campground, the park visitor center is open most weekends from May through September and other days when staffing permits. Staffed by dedicated volunteers from a nonprofit called Hendy Woods Community, the center offers natural history displays, camping necessities, ice cream, and souvenirs such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and postcards.