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
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.
FEATURES OF THE GROVE
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
|| Exhibits & Programs
|| Hiking Trails
|| Horseback Trails
|| Nature Trails
|| Picnic Areas
|| Visitor Center
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