California is known for its vast landscape filled with dozens of state parks and sitting at the top of the list is Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz California. The 4,623-acre park opened in 1954 and has been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike ever since.
With 15 miles of trails, you can hike, bike, and ride through the Redwood Forest. Other trees in this area include evergreens, riparian, madrone, oak, and ponderosa pine. The tallest tree in the park is about 285 feet tall and 16 feet wide. The trees are absolutely magnificent and the forest will enchant you.
Henry Cowell Redwoods Day Use
The Henry Cowell Redwood State Park is great for day trips. The drive from Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Monterey, or San Jose, and in just a few hours, Find yourself smack dab in the middle of the Redwood Forest and enjoy the lush greenery and open trails of this beautiful state park.
Big Ben Trail at Fall Creek
If you’re looking for a difficult hike, the Big Ben Trail at Fall Creek Unit packs 8-mile round-trip of spacious redwood hiking. With more than 3,000 feet of ascent, this is a signature hike of the Redwoods State Park. It is absolutely grueling, but it is well worth the ascent. It is named for a massive ancient redwood tree in the park. If you’ve gone to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to see Redwoods, this is the trail for you.
Lime Kilns at Fall Creek
If you’re looking for something more moderate, try the Lime Kilns at Fall Creek Unit, a 3-mile round-trip hike in the northern part of the forest. In the 19th century, lime processing was a big industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Lime Kilns at Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park are some of the only remains of the industry.
Old Cove Landing Trail Wilder Ranch
And for something easier, there are plenty of other hikes in the area. Try the Old Cove Landing Trail at Wilder Ranch, an easier hike with beautiful ocean views. Or consider Bluffs, where you can hike, bike, or use the equestrian trails. These easy strolls are perfect for taking in the sights, which very often includes wildlife! Look for seagulls, pelicans, and even sea lions! Wilder Ranch State Park 1401 Coast Rd Santa Cruz, California. website.
Camping Henry Cowell Redwoods
Bring your family and spend the night as you camp under the stars at this famous California state park. You can even bring your RV in and spend several days there. The campground has a separate entrance from the day-use area, located off Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. The park’s 107 campsites are closed during the winter season. reservations.
Garden Of Eden Swimming Hole
A popular summer destination in the park is the Garden Of Eden swimming hole on the San Lorenzo River. This area of Henry Cowell Redwoods is a cool place to take a dip in the river. During the summer especially on weekends, the Garden Of Eden can be overcrowded or closed completely. But there are several other areas you can enjoy the river without dealing with a crowd.
Fishing in the San Lorenzo River
For the fisherman at heart, the state park sits above the San Lorenzo River where you can fish for steelhead and salmon. Most of the steelhead are hatchery fish and have a clipped fin. Wild fish are rare. Fishing is permitted from November through February. Because of their threatened status, all wild steelhead trout and coho salmon are catch and release only. Most people catch and release all fish and want to preserve all of the fish in the San Lorenzo River.
This privately run railroad is adjacent to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The Roaring Camp’s collection of steam engines is among the oldest and most accurately preserved regularly scheduled passenger service trains in America.
We recommend going in the fall when the crisp weather is perfect for long days on the trail. Parts of this park are pup friendly so feel free to bring Fido along. However, dogs are not permitted in the old-growth forest and they may not be left unattended.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park main entrance is located at 101 N Big Trees Park Rd, Felton, California. website.