The Sonoma Redwoods and Armstrong Grove

The Sonoma Redwoods and Armstrong GroveThe ancient coastal redwoods in Armstrong Grove, California, are the tallest living things on our planet. These magical trees live to be 500-1,000 years old.  They grow to a diameter of 12-16 feet, and stand from 200-250 feet tall. Some trees live to be over 2,000 years old, and tower over 350 feet.

Coast redwoods need wet, mild climates to survive. The rainfall in Armstrong Redwood Grove averages 55 inches per year.  The trees are often shrouded in a mystical fog, and it’s this fog that maintains the moist conditions redwoods need to survive.

The majestic beauty of this Grove is a living reminder of the primeval redwood forest that covered this area before logging operations began in the 19th century. You’ll notice that these trees stand together as families.  The grove offers escape from the noise of daily life and gives us a quiet place for refection and peace.

The redwood reserve includes a visitor center, a large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails, and picnic facilities.  You can drive into the park, but the best way to experience the drama of the towering redwoods is to park at the entrance and walk in.  Take the Pioneer Nature Trail.  It’s a mile and a half, round trip.  Flat and level with just one set of steps.

You can’t camp at the park, but there’s camping at Austin Creek State Recreation Area, right next to the park.  (You get to Austin Creek through the same entrance as Armstrong Redwoods.)   Austin Creek campground is a dramatic contrast to the redwood grove.  There are rolling hills, grasslands, pines and oaks.

The redwood ecosystem is very fragile, so take care in the park.  When you visit, stay on the designated trails and don’t cross low- level fence lines.

Armstong Grove State Natural Reserve is a miracle of time and nature.  And you can explore these gentle giants to your heart’s desire.

Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured writer for www.authenticwinecountry.com. Join her at www.blevinswordworx.com for wine-country mysteries, classes, and the untamed west.

 

 

 

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