Anderson Valley is firmly planting its name among other wine valley greats like Napa and Sonoma, but beyond its tasty pinots lies another great way to wet your whistle. The Navarro River cuts right through tiny Hendy Woods State Park, framed by a charming old bridge often used as a viewing platform for the waters below. With crackling summer temperatures, you’re better off heading straight for the source.
Reach the river via a short trail that descends to the large, sand-and-pebble riverbed. There’s plenty of room for wandering, and plenty of spots to dip your toes, or go nose to toes! The western side of the bridge is a nice place to stroll and find your perfect swimming hole. Prior to visiting, you may want to book an overnighter at adjacent Hendy Woods State Park; it’s got 92 campsites and four small, stand-alone cabins. The 845-acre park butts right up to the flats of the Navarro River and is home to two redwood groves, Big Hendy and Little Hendy. Bridge the gap to a refreshing escape.
BONUS: Stop in at Husch Vineyards—the oldest winery in the Anderson Valley appellation. The tasting room is tiny but their pinots and Gewürztraminer are mighty, and the large lawn with a porch and picnic tables makes a signature valley perch.
Anderson Valley and the Navarro River are 120 miles north of San Francisco. Reach it via Hwy. 101 and Hwy. 128. From Hwy. 128 west of Boonville, follow the sign to Hendy Woods State Park. The first bridge you cross goes over the Navarro River. The best access point is to the west of the bridge. Husch Vineyards is 1.5 miles west of Hendy Woods along Hwy. 128. Both the swimming hole and winery are dog-friendly!