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You’ll find one of the last dense riparian habitats in California along the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area. This 428-acre park is located in northern California between Chico and Redding, at the foothills of the Sierras. The closest town is Corning, known as the “olive capital of the world.” Summer days can get hot in the valley, and this beautiful green park, shaded by giant oaks, is the perfect place to stay cool while camping in an RV.
On a clear day, you can see Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta, two of California’s most famous volcanoes, looming in the distance. Fish for salmon, hike through the forest, look for bald eagles, and take a lazy float on the river. You’re in for a relaxing experience if you book an RV rental in Tehama County and spend a few days camping at Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area.
The main attraction of Woodson Bridge SRA, other than the perfect park-like setting, is the Sacramento River. It makes for a serene spot for sitting on the shore for a picnic. This stretch of the Sacramento River is also popular for rafting. Many folks looking to float the river launch well upstream of Woodson Bridge and take out at the park. You can also go kayaking and canoeing, beaching on any of the gravel bars or sandy beaches for a break.
Fishing is also a popular activity at Woodson Bridge SRA. In the fall, you can catch king salmon when they’re spawning, fishing from shore or boat. Throughout the rest of the year, you can expect to catch bass and catfish. All anglers over 16 will need a valid California fishing license.
Woodson Bridge SRA hosts a short, easy interpretive nature trail that takes you through the shaded forest. This lush habitat is a nesting area for bald eagles in the winter and yellow-billed cuckoos in the summer. Walking the trails and along the river, you can expect to be surrounded by cottonwood, willows, elderberry, and wild grapes. There’s a picnic area at the end of the trail, where you can turn around and head back after stopping for a break.
The campground at Woodson Bridge is seasonal and closes during the winter, but the closure is usually only for a few months. When it is open, you’ll find 37 sites, though ten of them are tent-only. The RV sites can accommodate a maximum vehicle length of 31 feet and are back-in sites. None of the sites have hookups, but a dump station and water are available at the campground.
When you’re RV camping at Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area, you’ll be surrounded by tall oaks providing plenty of shade in a site situated in the grass. Each campsite has picnic tables and a fire ring with a grill. Other campground amenities include restrooms with flushing toilets and hot showers. You’re welcome to bring your pets with you as long as they’re kept on a leash. This campground is situated right on the south side of the Sacramento River and has river access. Most of the longer forest trails are across the river and can be accessed by walking on the road or driving.
Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area is adjacent to the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge, an impressive preserve where you can hunt, hike, and view wildlife. There’s an abundance of other fascinating areas to explore a little further out, including Lassen Volcanic National Park, just over an hour to the north. Lake Oroville is another popular recreation area an hour to the south, surrounded by numerous individual state recreation areas.
The hip town of Chico is 30 minutes to the south of Woodson Bridge. Chico is home to the massive wooded Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park and the children’s Gateway Science Museum, two must-see attractions. Or if you happen to be traveling north towards Red Bluff in the spring, don’t miss the Red Bluff Round-Up, a three-day rodeo that attracts visitors from all over the region.
You'll want to fuel up your campervan rental and get some groceries if the supplies are running low before you head out for your motorhome camping adventure. You can do this in Corning, just a quick ten-minute drive away, where you'll also be able to grab a bite to eat at one of their great Mexican restaurants. And be sure to peruse the different olive stores to purchase products that put this small town on the map.