Nestled in the heart of Northern California, Knights Ferry offers a charming getaway filled with history, nature, and outdoor adventure. With its picturesque backdrop, this small town is the perfect destination for families, couples, and solo travelers looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
In this blog post, we’ll uncover the top 15 things to do in Knights Ferry, California, promising a memorable experience for everyone!
1. Take Photos and Explore the Ferry Covered Bridge
A visit to Knights Ferry wouldn’t be complete without exploring the iconic Knights Ferry Covered Bridge only two minutes away. This historic wooden bridge spans 330 feet across the Stanislaus River. It was constructed in 1863 on Bridge Rd. It is the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi River.
The bridge is an essential part of the town’s history, playing a crucial role in the region’s development during the Gold Rush era. Walking through the Knights Ferry Covered Bridge is like stepping back in time.
Marvel at the impressive craftsmanship of this wooden structure, and be sure to bring your camera to capture the beautiful backdrop of the river and surrounding scenery.
2. Go Hiking at the Knights Ferry Recreation Area
If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’ll love the Knights Ferry Recreation Area, just a two-minute drive away from the covered bridge. This park offers several hiking trails, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty.
Explore the lush landscapes of Northern California, and look out for wildlife. You might glimpse deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species. The recreation area also features access to the Stanislaus River and Lake Tulloch, making it a fantastic spot for fishing, swimming, and boating.
3. Have a Picnic at Orange Blossom Park
Located only 6 minutes and 3.7 miles away from Knights Ferry, Orange Blossom Park is an excellent place for families and friends to gather for a fun-filled day. Pack a picnic and enjoy the park’s shaded areas, or take advantage of the BBQ grills for a cookout. Kids will love the playground, and the park’s open spaces provide ample room for games like soccer, Frisbee, and more.
4. Go Mountain Biking in the Sierra Nevada Foothills
Adventure-seekers looking for a thrilling outdoor experience should try mountain biking in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. The best part is that it’s only 80 miles away, so you’ll be there in an hour and a half. With multiple trails catering to different skill levels, you’ll find the perfect route to challenge yourself while taking in the breathtaking scenery. Don’t forget to bring your helmet and plenty of water for this exhilarating activity.
5. Take Boat Tours Along the Stanislaus River
For a unique perspective on Knights Ferry’s stunning scenery, consider a guided boat tour along the Stanislaus River only 30 minutes and 18 miles away. Enjoy a leisurely cruise while learning about the area’s history and natural features.
Keep an eye out for wildlife species that call the river home. Boat tours are available for all ages, making it a fun outing for the whole family.
6. Go Fishing in the Stanislaus River
Fishing enthusiasts will love the chance to cast their lines in the pristine waters of the Stanislaus River only 30 minutes and 18 miles away. Known for its thriving fish populations, the river is home to various species, like rainbow trout, bass, and catfish.
Grab your fishing gear and head to one of the many popular fishing spots along the river’s banks, or enjoy a relaxing day of fishing from a boat. Remember to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before you go.
7. Try Rafting on the Rapids along the Stanislaus River
For adrenaline junkies, nothing beats the excitement of whitewater rafting on the Stanislaus River. Experience the thrill of navigating the river’s rapids with a guided rafting tour, suitable for all ages and experience levels. With expert guides leading the way, you’ll have a safe and exhilarating adventure that you won’t soon forget. And it’s only 30 minutes and 18 miles away, so you won’t have to worry about getting there.
8. Go Horseback Riding in the Foothills
Discover the beauty of Knights Ferry’s surrounding landscape on horseback. Guided horseback riding tours are available through local stables, offering a unique way to explore the Sierra Nevada Foothills’ picturesque trails, only 80 miles away. Suitable for all experience levels, horseback riding is a fun and memorable activity for the entire family.
9. Take a Guided Tour of Knights Ferry
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Knights Ferry with a self-guided walking tour through the town’s historic district. Stroll along the charming streets, stopping at notable landmarks and buildings. These include the Knights Ferry General Store and the old schoolhouse. Take your time to read the informative plaques. They’ll teach you about the town’s history.
10. Go Swimming at the Knights Ferry Community Pool
Cool off at the Knights Ferry Community Pool at the center of town during the warm summer months. This family-friendly spot offers a refreshing break from the heat, with a well-maintained pool and shaded areas for relaxing. Pack some snacks and sunscreen, and enjoy a day of fun in the sun with your family and friends.
11. Birdwatching at the Stanislaus River Park
For nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, the Stanislaus River Park provides an excellent opportunity to spot various bird species in their natural habitat. Bring your binoculars and a field guide. Test your bird knowledge, and see how many different birds you can identify. This peaceful activity is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the park’s beauty. And the best part is you can easily get there as it’s only 0.4 miles and two minutes away from the town center.
12. Take a Photography Tour of Knights Ferry
Capture the beauty of Knights Ferry and its surrounding areas through your camera lens with a guided photography tour. Local photographers offer workshops and tours. You’ll learn how to take stunning landscape and wildlife photos. This activity is perfect for beginners and experienced photographers looking to improve their skills and capture memories of their trip.
13. Go Caving and Zip-lining at the Moaning Cavern Adventure Park
Located in Vallecito, about a 1-hour drive from Knights Ferry, Moaning Cavern Adventure Park offers guided tours of the Moaning Cavern, as well as zip-lining and rappelling adventures. Descend into the depths of this stunning limestone cave. See the magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations. For thrill-seekers, the park’s zip line and rappelling experiences provide an adrenaline rush in a beautiful natural setting.
14. Go Hiking and Picnicking at the Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Home to some of the largest and oldest giant sequoia trees, Calaveras Big Trees State Park is located in Arnold, about a 1 hour and 10-minute or 57-mile drive from Knights Ferry. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, guided walks, and picnicking among the towering trees. Wander through the majestic North Grove or take a scenic drive through the park to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of these ancient forests.
15. Oakdale Cheese & Specialties
A 20-minute and 14-mile drive from Knights Ferry, you’ll find Oakdale Cheese & Specialties, a local favorite for artisanal cheeses, gourmet foods, and delightful desserts. Enjoy a cheese tasting, and don’t forget to try their famous homemade Gouda. This is the perfect stop for foodies and cheese lovers to sample and purchase unique, locally-made products.
Hey, if you stick around the area make sure to check out these other towns:
- 7 Things to Do in Tuolumne County, California
- Top 17 Things to Do in Columbia
- Top 16 Things to Do in Jamestown, Ca
Knights Ferry offers a wealth of activities and attractions that cater to all interests and ages. From historical sites like the Knights Ferry Covered Bridge and Flour Mill to outdoor adventures such as hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
So, pack your bags, gather your friends or family, and embark on an unforgettable trip to the top attractions in this charming Northern California gem. You won’t be disappointed!