What? : Armstrong
Redwoods features a small but attractive old-growth redwood grove, some are 100
years old and 310 feet in height. The park is in a canyon just north of the
Russian River and the town of Guerneville.
Where? : The Sonoma
County reserve is located just north of Guerneville (hwy 116 on the Russian
Google Map Link
Due note 1: There is a $10.00
charges per vehicle to enter the park, you can park near the entrance parking
lot and walk in for free (the main Redwood grove is just at the entrance) or drive
and park inside the park.
Due note 2: In summer, the
weather can be variable. Morning cool the air and fog can blanket the grove
while afternoon temperatures can be warm, although the grove is always shaded
by the trees.
Due note 3: The park is
quite popular because of the popularity of the nearby Russian River area,
especially during summertime).
My thoughts: When visiting
the area of the Russian River and you want to have some nature hikes; this is
just the place for that. This park is an excellent place to see the majestic
Redwood trees. You can have a short 2-hour visit with an easy hike or much
longer day hikes.
The Grove is a
living reminder of the magnificent primeval redwood forest that covered much of
this area before logging operations began during the 19th century. Armstrong
Redwoods preserves stately and magnificent Sequoia sempervirens, commonly known
as the coast redwood.
coast redwood is the tallest living thing on our planet!
remarkable trees can live to 1,000 years old, grow to a diameter of 12-16 feet,
and stand 250 feet tall. Some trees survive to over 2,000 years and tower above
Armstrong Tree is the oldest tree in the grove, estimated to be over 1,400
years old. It is named after a lumberman who chose to preserve this portion of
the park in the 1870s. This magnificent tree is located within an easy
half-mile walk from the park entrance. The Parson Jones Tree is the tallest
tree in the grove, measuring more than 310 feet in height.
Pioneer Nature Trail (1.5 mile):
This trail is a
mile and a half long and is a round-trip loop, it is mostly flat and level.
highly recommended loop passes through most of the park’s old growth grove, the
rest of the park is only secondary-growth trees and is less “impressive”.
East Ridge Trail (2 miles trail):
external parking lot take the 1.2 miles East Ridge Trail, it will take you to
the picnic area, from there you can connect to the Pioneer Nature Trail, hike
through the grove and go back to the parking lot.
Pool Ridge Trail (2.4 miles):
external parking lot take the Discovery Trail (going left) and see the Colonel Armstrong
tree. From here take the Pool Ridge trail that is going into the canyon. At
some point the trail will start to climb the ridge on your left until it will
get to a trail junction at ridge top.
At this point
you can turn left and keep climbing the ridge, this will be additional 3 mile
to you hike, or as what we did take the trail to your right, this 0.5 mile
trail will take you back to the valley below, from there take the Pioneer
Nature Trail back to the parking lot.
Right north of
the state park there is another park: Austin Creek State Recreation Area. The
road to this park is the same road that enter Armstrong Redwoods State Natural