The Stanislaus National Forest, created on February 22, 1897, is among the oldest of the National Forests. It is named for the Stanislaus River whose headwaters rise within Forest boundaries. In the Stanislaus National Forest, you’ll find a treasure chest of recreation activities, including water activities, fishing in over 800 miles of rivers and streams, camping, and hiking. Swim near a sandy beach or wade into cold clear streams cooling your feet while lost in the beauty of nature, raft the exciting Tuolumne River, or canoe one of the many gorgeous lakes. Ride a horse, a mountain bike, snowmobile, or an off-highway vehicle. Wild and Scenic River designation allows for rivers to be preserved in a free-flowing state, protecting water quality and scenic beauty. The Stanislaus National Forest contains two such Rivers, including 29 miles of the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River and 11 miles of the Merced Wild and Scenic River. Enjoyable and challenging whitewater rafting runs are available in spring and summer.