Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a fabulous grove of redwood trees complete with several hiking trails to enjoy. Many of the trails are dog friendly or horse friendly too! The many trails are connected, which allows you to hike all day for miles, or to enjoy a short, half-mile hike with small children. Whichever type of hike you are looking for, you will find it Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park!
We recently went to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The weather was perfect, and it was partially overcast, which gave us ideal hiking conditions. What I thought would be a two hour hike, turned into a 5 mile, all morning adventure! The girls are in middle school, so now that they are older, they can last longer on hikes. They enjoyed going on the moderate trails, and making it up to the Cathedral Redwoods circle of coast redwood trees. There were a few benches there, which made it ideal for snacking and drinking water.
The hiking trails at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park are well maintained and quite clean. It was easy to avoid poison oak, and there was plenty of room for people to pass each other. There are many old growth redwoods, some which might have been two hundred years old! When Lt. John C. Fremont was surveying the area in 1846, he camped in the area, and as a result, had an old growth tree, which is presumed to have been there when he was, named after him!
There is a grove of old growth redwoods, named the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, right by the visitor center, which offers an educational walk through elder trees. Oh the stories they could tell! This is a flat area, so if you have a stroller, or really small children, this grove is perfect! You can also catch a glimpse of the trains from Roaring Camp when they pass by. Your train-loving children will love that!
Visit like a local
I may sound like a broken record, but the early bird catches the worm! Try to arrive to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park before 9am; especially during the peak summer season, and on weekends. If you arrive later in the day, you might have to park outside the park and end up hiking a mile just to get to the trails! Well, that’s no fun! Visit like a local, and arrive early.
The parking lot is $10, and very safe and well-maintained. In addition to hiking, you can walk over to Roaring Camp and ride a train, go camping, swim in the Garden of Eden, and/or attend a special event. This is a great park to visit again, and again! Without traffic, it is roughly 40 minutes from San Jose. It is located at 101 Big Trees Park Road in Felton, California.
If you’re local, where are your favorite hikes in the Santa Cruz area? If you’re not local, be sure to add Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to your itinerary when you visit the San Francisco Bay Area! It’s close to the Santa Cruz beach!
Thanks for stopping by!