Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area is the southern gateway to the world-famous redwood belt along California’s North Coast. About 10 miles of trails weave through its steep canyon bluffs, second-growth forests, and clusters of old-growth redwoods. The tallest redwood, the 225-foot Captain Miles Standish Tree, is more than 1,200 years old. A two-mile stretch of the South Fork of the Eel River—with riffles, deep holes, and calm shallow areas—is popular with swimmers, kayakers, and anglers.
The park began as a 40-acre campground donated in 1922. Its name honors a lumberman’s son, Edward Ritter Hickey, who died while caring for victims of the 1918 flu epidemic. In the late 1950s, descendants of Captain Miles Standish, a pilgrim who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, added 500 acres. Subsequent donations from Save the Redwoods League have expanded the park to more than 1,000 acres.
A 180-mile drive from San Francisco, Standish-Hickey lies along Highway 101, 1½ miles north of the town of Leggett. The park entrance road is easy to find and paved to accommodate any street-legal vehicle. High water (and removal of seasonal bridges) makes much of the park, including hiking trails, inaccessible in winter, but at least one campground is always open.