Explore the most popular trails in Caswell Memorial State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A small, wild refuge in the midst of California’s Great Central Valley, Caswell Memorial State Park is situated on the Stanislaus River near the town of Ripon. This special river park’s 258 acres protect what is considered one of California’s finest examples of a mature oak riparian forest. While once they were a prominent feature in the landscape of the Central Valley, today these riparian forests are extremely rare. The Stanislaus River winds along the south side of the campground and day-use areas. The park offers activities such as camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, tubing from the campground to the day-use area, bird watching, and hiking. Fishing is popular, and fishing spots are plentiful along the sandy main channel of the Stanislaus River or the extremely slow moving oxbows. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, bullhead, blue gill and other sunfish, crappie, and pike minnow thrive here year-round, and striped bass and Chinook salmon migrate through the area. The Native Americans who lived along this river and collected acorns among these ancient groves were Yokuts. In the early 1800s, Spanish explorers traversed this area, and fur trappers found the river bountiful. Thomas Caswell, landowner, enjoyed this wonderful forest and felt it should be preserved. In 1950 the children and grand children donated 134 acres to the people of California. Additional donations and state purchases brought Caswell to its current size of 258 acres. Caswell Memorial State Park was open to the public in 1958. Park open 8am-sunset year round. Average winter temperatures are 45-50 degrees. Summer is typically 85-100 degrees, although it is not unusual to go several consecutive days with 100+ temperatures. Mosquitoes are among the resident wildlife so come prepared to live with them. One of the most magnificent aspects the park has to offer is its seemingly endless nature trails. The trails allow a glimpse of what the riparian ecosystem of the valley would have looked like in pristine times. A majestic Oak Forest is surrounded by many other lush plant species, some of which are rarely found anywhere else in the area. The park offers a rich variety of wildlife viewing. While many of the wildlife species here are nocturnal and rarely seen, bird watching is a favorite among nature lovers. Red shouldered and red tailed hawks are often seen, along with dozens of other winged artists. Dogs are not allowed on trails or beaches.

Lots of bugs so bring spray, bathrooms were decent, trails were not maintained well... lots of overgrown vegetation. Some parts of trail were closed down for good reasons. More like a walk than a hike...

nice run! perfect for kids too, just DONT FORGET YOUR BUG SPRAY.

needs maintenance.. I've been coming here since i was a kid. now the place is full of drunks,loud disrespectful pricks & theirs penises drawn all over the place now.. nobody was even at the front gate to take money or give me a map.

hiking
over grown
2 months ago

We did a quick walk through the park. Not much in the terms of maintenance. The path ways are overgrown with poison oak/ivy and grave vines. Our dogs had ticks on them only after 30+mins. So be sure to check your pets. There were small groups of people staying cool in the river. It’s a 10$ parking day use fee. One thing that was very annoying is alone the trails there are information plaques that have penis drawn on them... Lame if you are bringing children with you.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail but be careful if you go off trail. There is an abundance of poison oak. The staff was good enough to post signs and caution tape. $10 entry fee is high if you’re only planning on hiking but not bad if you are grilling, fishing or tubing etc.

Nice trail and it’s well-maintained, but be aware there are tons of mosquitos there. We brought bug spray and still left with multiple bites. Hiking here without insect repellant isn’t recommended!

Beautiful trail along the river! Stayed nice and cool due to lots of trees and shade. Stroller and kid friendly ❤️

Really nice scenic walk. Bug spray is definitely needed. Poison oak as well.

This might be better in the summer, I came early spring. 10 dollar parking. LOTS of bugs. You need to spray yourself or you will be eaten alive. It is scenic, and easy. I wouldn’t immediately want to swim in the water as it is not maintained, the current is strong and it is not inviting, but I would if it was hot enough. There are camping spots that look ok. Bathrooms and showers available but not maintained well. Over all, I was happy for the light walk and the bug spray but I was happy to get in the car away from it all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty. I just wouldn’t go back for a nature hike.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

Hiked 3 miles today. Nice hike with no one else here. A lot of downed tree limbs on the trails.

Not ok paying 10$ for less than an hour walk .

This is a nice park, I went in early autumn, lots of mosquitoes so be prepared for that but still very beautiful grate for kids and family. This is a park but also a sanctuary for a few small endangered mammals, so no dogs on the trails or beaches. There are also camp grounds and day use places to Bbq , and public restaurants rooms and plenty of shade. very peaceful during the week. trails are easy.

More of a walk than a hike, it's a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Bring your bug spray because the mosquitoes are crazy bad. There are benches along the way and a good picnic area at the beginning. You'll also find a small beach that's probably very crowded in the summer. The camping area looks decent for both tent and campers. Recommended for beginning hikers and those looking for a good walk along the river.

hiking
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Best trail in the area of the 6 I've done in the last few days. But that's not saying much... Not much to offer in the flats. The back corner that you do out and back had a closed sign on it but I was the only one on the trail so I went on it until I hit more signs. There were a lot of quail in the back corner. And lots of wild grape vines in some of the trees.

hiking
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Good thing about the trail: one of the only tree shaded hikes in the area. Bad thing: $10 to park for a couple of hours of hiking between the trails. Interesting grape vines in a lot of the trees.

Monday, May 28, 2018

No dogs aloud on trails

Sunday, May 27, 2018

No dogs aloud on trails

hiking
Monday, February 19, 2018

Easy walk and plenty of shade. $10 parking fee is requested for a day use.

walking
Monday, January 22, 2018

This is not wheelchair friendly or well kept. It’s a simple loop which was fine for the purpose today but not much more. Very over grown

hiking
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Nice relaxing walk. Trails are nicely kept. $10 entrance fee.

Friday, November 10, 2017

I love Caswell. Great pic setting and easy for the kiddos to follow.

walking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Nice nature walk. Perfect in the morning.

walking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

shady trails. beautiful walk!

Friday, June 16, 2017

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

The trail was probably really nice, however I had to rush through it because the moment I stepped on the trail, I was swarmed by a bunch of mosquitoes! They were buzzing and biting me the entire trail, I even had to start running down the trail to get away at one point, it was so bad. Definitely bring bug spray if you want to be able to enjoy this trail. The mosquitoes even followed me inside my car, I had to kill several as I was driving away!

Kids and I had a lot of fun but make sure you bring bug spray tons of mosquitoes

hiking
Friday, May 19, 2017

This is a nice little trail that also connects with the other, longer trails in the park. I was the only one in the park during my visit. It was a nice hike.

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