hiking

nature trips

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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a state park near Santa Cruz, California that is beloved for it's old growth redwood groves that date back hundreds of years in addition to second-growth redwoods. Other old growth trees such as madrones, oak trees, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine trees are also on display at this park, as well as iconic wildlife like banana slugs who make their home in this Northern California redwood forest. The Observation Deck Loop is a great place to view these big trees. The tallest tree in Henry Cowell State Park is about 285 feet tall, and about 16 feet wide. You can also see the John C. Fremont tree where Lt. Fremont camped while surveying for the US government prior to California statehood. The oldest redwood trees in the park are about 1400 to 1800 years old. With over 20 miles of hiking trails and a nature center, this Santa Cruz County park makes a great weekend trip from San Francisco or the Monterey Bay. Mountain biking is also super popular on the scenic trails in this park, and visitors can also visit the beautiful Garden of Eden swimming hole. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is near Felton on Highway 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Roaring Camp Railroad also goes through the park and is a delight for kids and adults alike. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park. Open Sunrise to Sunset.

A good hike in stunning groves of giant redwoods. Not busy at alll. A good mix of flat trail, winding climb up and down and scrambled on fallen trees over the stream.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice nature hike not too crowded. Trail was along the creek mostly. No bathrooms so be prepared.

2 days ago

Beautiful hike. One of the best in NorCal.

2 days ago

Beautiful hike. One of best in NorCal.

hiking
5 days ago

Awesome trail. It's actually 9 miles and if you take wrong turns like we did then it becomes 10 miles :D But don't worry it will still be very beautiful and enjoyable. The trail runs adjacent to the Fall Creek and that adds to the beauty of the trail. There are a lot of fallen trees and path going under those trees or go over them. The trail can get confusing since there are places where multiple diversions are possible, so make sure to keep a Google maps or All Trails map on so that you don't get lost. There are a few small waterfalls too on the trail.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful trail. Moderate. Closer to 9 miles than 8 miles according to my Apple Watch GPS. Took about 4.5 hours to complete including a few rest breaks. Beautiful walk in the redwoods. This trail passes by “Big Ben” giant redwood. The trail is washed away for about a 10 yard section on the eastern fall creek section of the loop but if it is passable by just making your way across the large tree and rocks that are over the creek.

beautiful places

hiking
22 days ago

it is a moderately decent trail. if you want to get into the woods, it's perfect.

hiking
29 days ago

Great, easy hike that puts you among the trees right out of the parking lot. The trees tower above you, it's difficult not to take pictures around every turn! You will see the Mother and Father tree (with signage and a description of their size), as well as a few trees that have been burned out in the middle, allowing people to step inside the resulting "cave." Great wide gravel path the whole way. I went with a 3 year old and a stroller and both handled it great! The parking lot gets crowded very quickly however, even in January! So, arrive early or feel free to continue driving to the picnic areas and parking there. Highly recommend this (or any) of the trails here!

Beautiful trail. I’d say it’s more on the easy side of moderate. There are a number of down trees so we weren’t able to make it to the turn around point listed here since our baby carriers made it too tricky. I’d definitely come out to this area again. Looks like there’s miles of trails we can connect for this.

Nice trail. Despite others opinion, “moderate” is an accurate description. Anyone not agile would have difficulty. The trail has not been cleared of debris from spring rains that caused havoc in the area with landslides (portion of trail re-routed) and many trees to maneuver over and/or under. The trail follows the stream most of the time. Thus, the sounds of water rushing thru the rocks and logs make for an enjoyable hike. We walked up to the Barrel Hill Area and the trail and flora was much the same with more distance to the hike.

Don’t take this hike in the winter or early spring. We were prepared for a 6 mile hike but at the end of the loop, when we were supposed to cross the river and climb the hill back to the car, we found that the river was way too high to cross. What was supposed to be a 6 mile hike turned into a 10 mile hike. Also, this hike has you walking on train track (not pleasant) for a long time and then crossing a trestle. Wouldn’t you know it, the train came when we were right in the middle. This is a beautiful area but don’t take this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice paved trail for dogs but the trail part of the loop back may not be dog friendly.. no signs on the way up but there are signs once you meet up with graham hill trail that say no dogs. Graham hill follows the road and is noisy, not my favorite but okay to avoid out and back.

Awesome spot !

Most amazing creek trail my family has ever taken. Runs along the creek with tons of flora to check out. A few inclines, but mostly flat. We would agree that the trail is not truly moderate in difficulty, but somewhere in between moderate and easy.

horseback riding
2 months ago

Great place to take the horses to take a dip. Close to Graham Hill campground where they have overnight facilities for horses. Can get crowded in the summer, but it’s a beautiful park, and all of the trails are fun. We can do a lot of it at a canter even with groups of kids.

2 months ago

all around great trail

on Fall Creek

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of the most beautiful Hikes I have ever hiked.With slight drizzle and cloudy skies , it was a amazing hike and I had stopped by the redwood for nearly an hour to enjoy the nature's beauty. For the most part of trail you will have the pristine creek running by beside the trail. the ascend and descend alternates itself and gives you a pleasure of a good workout. Although there is something about the trail I would like to mention. If you are taking the loop through Fall creek south fork trail and join back the Fall creek trail after hiking Big Ben Trail, then after hiking 1.3 miles in Fall creek trail from Big Ben along the creek, you will find that the path has been completely eroded and there is no way to proceed further. You would have to take a switch back to reach the Truck Trail, then hike thru Ridge Trail and S-Cape Trail to join the fall creek trail back. The switch back is not a well marked trail path and you have to figure it out moving back from the closed path say by .2 miles , this increases the trail distance to 10.3 miles and is not what that has been mentioned.

Enjoyed mild hiking along the shock resistant trail surrounded by old redwoods and crystal clear creek..

walking
2 months ago

Short hike, but lots of trees to enjoy. Great for kids.

Beautiful scenery, nicely groomed path, but NO TRAIL MARKINGS! It made it very easy to get off path onto one of the many other criss crossing trails. This made for another mile plus of hiking while we found our way back to the main trail. Only use this trail if you are experienced and have a downloaded map to guide you.

This is my favorite hike in Santa Cruz

Beautiful trail, which gives everyone at every ability level a glimpse of the Redwoods and the surrounding environment. Only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it is heavily occupied, and not especially peaceful. I was almost ran over by a large group of school kids having a race down the path, followed by their teachers who were allowing them. I prefer the peace and serenity of nature to the screaming, undisciplined activities of children.

3 months ago

Reasonably challenging, fallen trees to climb over or under, the river or creeks are with you most of the way. Beautiful trail.

this is definitely a mountain biker's trail. very heavy mountain bike traffic. I can't wait to come back on my bike. definitely avoid if hiking.

Beautiful and busy. If you go farther back towards the mill it becomes more peaceful. Some trail wash out and fallen trees but easy to navigate and find the trail again. Waterproof boots make that part easier. Chilly but refreshing, had a great time!

Don't get me wrong...the scenery is beautiful no matter where you go. I had to give this 1 star because the trails were so poorly marked and washed out that we never actually made it to most of the hike. We spent the whole time following random trails that went nowhere. We are experienced hikers so we still had fun. No trail maps either. Bummer.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike! Got to see two Banana slugs and Big Ben.

Amazing hike - Easy to find TH and plenty of parking. Not the biggest Redwoods but Fall Creek is almost like you are in the Northwest. Trail was in really good condition except for a bunch of trees down - at one point (picture included) I didnt think I could get through however wast too bad. I extended by taking Fall Creek up to Big Ben Trail which connects to Truck trail (very quiet) and then back to Ridge Trail. Saw maybe 10 people all morning. I will come back again

Not well marked at all but if you can get connection and use the app you can get your way through it. Hiked around 345pm in Jan 2018 and saw about 8 mtn bikers too so it’s used by a few types of people. Nice 1.5 -2 hr hike for a quickie in the day. Loved it!

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