Looking for a great trail in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, California? AllTrails has 31 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 20 moderate trails in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park ranging from 2.2 to 8.7 miles and from 255 to 2,004 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

walking

forest

trail running

no dogs

kid friendly

wild flowers

river

wildlife

horseback riding

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.

Great hike. Amazing breath taking views

We wanted to see the lime kilns, but made a wrong turn and crossed the bridge at the beginning of the trail. We went up ridge trail which was a nice steady incline for a good workout. We came back down fall creek trail which followed the creek and was beautiful. Took us about 2 hours which includes the time we stopped for lunch next to the river. Overall it was really pretty hike and there was a lot of water in the creek.

Beautiful trail- did it in about 3 hours at a quick pace.

The trailhead for this one is a bit hard to find, so after several attempts, we got on trail. Beautiful ferns everywhere. You share this trail with horses, just beware, and they should always have the right away. Also, watch your step, a lot of people do not clean up after their dogs!! Small stream crossing, overall simply gorgeous! Enjoy!!

Beautiful, cool hike through the towering redwoods alongside the river. The only downside to this dog friendly trail was the multiple inclines although the view from the overlook exceeded our expectations. Breathtakingly beautiful overview stretching to the ocean.

A beautiful 5 hour shaded hike through a quiet, peaceful redwood forest. We went counterclockwise around the loop. The trail is mostly easy to follow but there were some areas, particularly the junction of Fall Creek and Big Ben routes, that were unmarked - so bring your GPS! There are some rather difficult sections where you have to scramble over fallen trees - hiking boots recommended. These sections might be dangerous/intimidating if the creek is high. Bring more water than you think you need - there is quite a long climb to see Big Ben. It’s worth it though - he is glorious! Coming across the old lime kiln was also very cool - looked a bit like temple ruins in the jungle. Plenty of shade, birdsong, babbling creek and no road noise - a very enjoyable afternoon.

hiking
12 days ago

a couple steep inclines but a nice morning walk

This is a moderate trail that can be tricky but if your looking for a private swimming hole, this is it. Its a moderate climb down so be prepared for hike back up. Not super little kid friendly but 8 and up could easily complete it.

Nice hike, nearly all shaded.

hiking
off trail
private property
14 days ago

you have to walk along railroad track. and it's an active railroad. be careful!

great morning walk but I thought all tails quit. it didn't.

Easy beautiful trail with slow incline. Mostly shaded the whole way. Beware of mosquitoes.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
scramble
19 days ago

mountain biking
29 days ago

There is no bridge at the river crossing. Riders must walk across the river. There is a lot of water now so you might not be able to cross it to the other side. I couldn't and had to turn back.

Absolutely lovely short loop to Lime Kiln and back via North Fork of Fall Creek Trail (or in reverse). Water at your side most of the loop, beautiful creekside vegetation. Dramatic during winter. Beware that although people used to bring dogs (due to lack of enforcement), that has completely changed. Dogs, even on leash, are not allowed in Fall Creek, rangers do patrol, and the citations are very expensive.

Wonderful challenging trail. Fall Creek trail below Barrel Mill collapsed a year or two ago, but passable. Slightly steeper ascent to Big Ben at the Lime Kiln end than at the Barrel Mill end (I prefer the latter). It would be a mistake to bring a dog here, leashed or not, as the rangers cite and the penalties are very steep.

completed this trail couple of days ago. definitely a nice trail that is almost always covered and shaded. took us 5 hrs with leisurely walking. parts of the trail are washed off and you need to scramble over some of the fallen trees to cross the creek but nothing too difficult. saw some foot prints going up the washed out section and tried to go up that first instead of scrambling over trees and that was a bad idea. just something to watch out for.

Love this hike! Not too strenuous if you hike normally. Definitely a good work out. Took about 4.5 hrs with two breaks to complete the loop. Ran the last 1 mile back to the parking lot.

A quick and fairly easy loop. The trail is rated as moderate, but it is certainly on the easier side of moderate. Would be great for hiking with kids. The observation point is a nice place to stop for a quick snack and take in the views. I did not see any horses on the trail, but saw lots of evidence of horses (watch your step) :) A lot of the trail is covered in loose sand, which is great for keeping dust down, but not a lot of fun to walk in. The first portion of the trail is rather uneventful as you are walking on blacktop for a spell. Once the blacktop ends and the forest takes over, it feels a little more remote. Heavily traveled on weekends, but start early enough and you have the place to yourself. Happy Hiking

hiking
bugs
washed out
1 month ago

Great shaded trail.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

My new favorite South Bay area trail. NOTE: This trail loop is at least 9 + miles long!) Be sure to watch for areas of Fall Creek Trail that might’ve been washed out especially after a heavy rainstorm. Lots of scrambling over and under fallen trees and even a couple balancing acts across fallen trees as make shift bridges. Hiking poles strongly recommended for those situations plus for long stretches of incline up or down Lost Empire Trail

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