Russian River
Armstrong Redwoods State Park
  Explore Armstrong
  About Coast Redwoods
  Walks & Hikes
  Marguerite Wildenhain
  Map of the Grove
  Location Map
  School Groups
  Rules & Regulations
  Environmental Protection

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Westside Park

About the Park

Armstrong Redwoods preserves 805 acres of the stately and magnificent Sequoia sempervirens, commonly known as the coast redwood. The serene, majestic beauty of this 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. These trees stand together as a testament to the wonders of the natural world. The Grove offers solace from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering the onlooker great inspiration and a place for quiet reflection.

The ancient coast redwood is the tallest living thing on our planet! These remarkable trees live to be 500-1,000 years old, grow to a diameter of 12-16 feet, and stand from 200-250 feet tall. Some trees survive to over 2000 years and tower above 350 feet. Coast redwoods are classified as temperate rainforests and they need wet and mild climates to survive. The rainfall in Armstrong Redwoods averages 55 inches per year and the trees are often shrouded in a mystical fog that helps to maintain the moist conditions needed for the redwoods to survive. To find out more about these magnificent trees click the link About Coast Redwoods to the left.

The reserve includes a visitor center, large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic facilities. While you can drive into the park, the best way to experience the dramatic affect of the towering redwoods, is to park in the lot at the park entrance and walk in for free. All of the park features are a short easy stroll along level trails that are disability accessible.

Although no camping is available in the redwood grove, there is a campground at Austin Creek State Recreation Area, which is adjacent to the park. Austin Creek is accessed through the same entrance as Armstrong Redwoods and its rolling hills, open grasslands, conifers, and oaks are a beautiful and dramatic contrast to the dense canopy of the redwood grove.

The redwood ecosystem is a very fragile one. Every effort is being made to preserve and protect this Grove but it can only be done with your help. When you visit, please do not disturb or remove any natural features of the park, stay on designated trails and do not cross low- level fenceline. We hope you enjoy a serene and rejuvenating visit among these inspiring giants.


The Tallest Tree
The Parson Jones Tree is the tallest tree in the grove, measuring more than 310 feet in height. This is longer than the length of a football field. A .1 mile walk from the park entrance.

The Oldest Tree
The Colonel Armstrong Tree is the oldest tree in the grove, estimated to be over 1400 years old. It is named after a lumberman who chose to preserve this portion of the park in the 1870's. A half-mile walk from the park entrance

The Icicle Tree
This tree shows the unusual burl formations often found on redwood trees. Burls can weigh many tons and grow hundreds of feet above the forest floor. Why these growths occur remains a mystery.

The Discovery Trail
This trail offers a wheelchair accessible pathway, interpretive panels in Braille, and tree hugging platforms.

Armstrong Nature Trail
This self-guided nature trail is an easy stroll through the Grove and is also wheelchair accessible. Guides are available at the visitor center.


Our picnic area is 3/4 of a mile form the park entrance. Grills, tables, and restrooms are situated beneath the tall trees and seasonal creeks meander through in the winter months.

A group picnic area is available on a reservation basis. Group size is strictly limited to a maximum of 150 people. The fee for up to 100 people is $50.00- this includes a $35.00 use fee plus a non-refundable $15.00 reservation fee. A 14 day cancellation is required for a refund of the use fee. For more than 100 people there is a charge of .50 per person. The day use fee will be waived for up to ten vehicles. Additional vehicles will be charged standard day use fees. There is no electrical service in the picnic area and AMPLIFIED MUSIC IS PROHIBITED. The Group Picnic Area may not be used for weddings, wedding receptions, and memorial services. Facilities include: 9 large picnic tables that can seat 150 people, 1 large BBQ pit, 3 standard size picnic grills, and nearby restrooms. To reserve this site please contact Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. A reservation form will be mailed or faxed to you. The reservation is not secure until full payment is received. This is a popular facility and we recommend booking early!

Suggested Walks and Hikes:
Dogs are not allowed on any trails in Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve or Austin Creek State Recreation Area. Bicycles are allowed on service roads only. Horses are not allowed on the Pioneer or Discovery trail but are permitted on East Austin Creek and Pool Ridge Trails. Please respect all private property and no trespassing signs when hiking, stay on designated trails, and do not cross low-level fencing.

Easy 1 Mile: Take the Pioneer Trail from the park entrance to the Armstrong Tree and Forest Theater, returning via the same route.

Easy 1.7 Miles: Take the Pioneer Trail from the park entrance to the Armstrong Tree, then to the picnic area, and return.

Moderate 2.2 Miles with a 400' climb: Take the East Ridge Trail from the front parking lot to the picnic area and return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.

Moderate 2.3 Miles with a 500' climb: Take the Pioneer Trail from the entrance to the Armstrong Tree. Then take the Pool Ridge Trail to the picnic area. Return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.

Moderate to Strenuous 3.3 Miles: This is a combination of the above two hikes. Take the East Ridge trail from the front parking lot to the picnic area. Then take the Pool Ridge Trail to the Armstrong Tree and return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.

The following hikes begin in Armstrong Redwoods and into the rolling hills, forests, and grasslands of Austin Creek State Recreation Area, a dramatic contrast to the cool, moist, redwood grove. .

Strenuous 5.6 Miles with 1100' climb: Take the East Ridge Trail from the front parking lot to the Gilliam Creek trailhead. Loop back down to the Grove by taking the Pool Ridge Trail to the Armstrong Tree. Return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.

Strenuous 9 Miles with 1500' climb. Take the East Ridge Trail from the front parking lot to Bullfrog Pond Campground. Return via the trail or road to the Pool Ridge Trailhead, taking this trail back to the Grove. Return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.

Horseback Riding
The East Ridge Trail and the Pool Ridge Trail are open to equestrians, although we do experience seasonal closures due to poor trails conditions in some winter months. Trailers can be parked in our front parking lot or in the east parking lot of the picnic area. Ttrailers are not allowed on the road as it continues into Austin Creek Recreation Area due to the narrow and windy road.

Horse rentals are available though a private company that is adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods. For more information contact the Armstrong Woods Pack Station at 707-887-2939 or

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
In summer, the weather can be changeable; morning fog can blanket the grove and cool the air while afternoon temperatures can warm the Grove. Many trails lead into the upper hills of Austin Creek where temperatures can soar above 100 degrees. Layered clothing and plenty of water is recommended.

In the springtime, wildflowers are prolific, temperatures are mild and the fog is less frequent.

In winter, temperatures drop but remain moderate. Rain nourishes the grove and brings life to the many plants and ferns, turning the understory into a green, lush carpet. A sweater and rain jacket will allow you to enjoy the special tranquility found in the Grove as water drops work their magic.

Park History
During the 1870's, this area was set aside as a natural park and botanical garden by Colonel James Armstrong, a lumberman who recognized the beauty and natural value of the forests he harvested. After his death, Armstrong's daughter and the Le Baron family mounted an energetic campaign involving public meetings, rallies and car-caravans to direct public attention to the need to preserve this last remnant of the once mighty redwood forest. Their efforts were successful, and in 1917 the County of Sonoma passed an initiative to purchase the property for $80,000.

The grove was operated by Sonoma County until 1934 when the State took over. In 1936 the grove was opened to the public as Armstrong Redwoods State Park. The grove's status was changed to a reserve in 1964 when a greater understanding of its ecological significance prompted a more protective management of the resource.

Additional history...

Park Features

Accessible Features

Exhibits & Programs
Hiking Trails
Horseback Trails
Nature Trails

Picnic Areas
Visitor Center

Select content created by the California Department of Parks and Recreation

I visited Armstrong
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