The Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is located approximately 75 miles to the north of San Francisco in northern California. The magnificent grove of old redwood tree is 805 acres. It features not just the world’s oldest tree, it also is the world’s oldest living thing at 1,400 years old. The area features hiking, horseback riding, camping, picnicking, and other significant attractions. Read on to gain a quick, broad, and detailed understanding of what this state park has to offer you in terms of recreation.
<h2> Hiking </h2>
For hikers, there are seven different routes ranging from easy to strenuous. The two most challenging trails are 5.6 and 9 miles long with climbs of 1,100 feet and 1,500 feet respectively. For the less die-hard enthusiast, there are also hiking trail made with the intent to showcase the beauty and serene setting of the forest. The easier trails range from 1 mile to 2.2 miles long with climbs no further than 500 feet.
<h2> Horseback Riding </h2>
During winter, the trails are closed to horseback riding due to the weather conditions. During warmer seasons, usually summer, the peak season weather offers the chance to go horseback riding through the reserve. It is best to call ahead to find out if the weather conditions permit horseback riding to assure there will be no disappointment upon arrival. You are allowed to bring your own horses, if you chose. There is even an area to park the trailer. If you don’t happen to own a horse, then don’t fret. Horses can be rented from a private company that is next to the Armstrong Redwoods. The website and phone number is listed at the bottom of this article. Visit those sites to learn more about renting horses for riding in the Armstrong Redwoods National Reserve.
<h2> Picnicking </h2>
Inside the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, there is a picnic area providing tables, grills, and restrooms. The picnic area is located amongst tall trees and sparkling creeks that provide a natural atmosphere for enjoying a quiet afternoon meal with friends and family members. The reserve also includes a group picnic area available only by reservation. The limit for groups is 150 people. There is a fee for renting the group picnic area depending on the size of the group and the number of vehicles. The amenities include a large barbecue pit, three picnic grills, and restroom facilities. Weddings can also be arranged as well. To find out more information, see the phone number listed below.
<h2> Camping </h2>
Within the natural reserve, there are 24 campsites. Reservations are not necessary because the camp sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The campsites are open all year long. Although tables, fire rings, drinkable water, and flushing toilets are provided, it should be noted that there are no facilities for washing or showering. Because the location of the camp site must be accessed by a winding and steep road, only vehicles that are 20 feet long or less can be allowed into the site. Trailers are also not allowed.
<h2> Significant Sights </h2>
This state natural reserve boasts the oldest living thing on the planet: A 1,400 year-old tree named The Colonel Armstrong Tree. It gets it’s name from the lumberjack who preserved the area in which the tree resides in the late 1800’s. Another significant tree is called The Parson Jones Tree which gets its fame from measuring 310 feet high. The tree has been noted to be taller than the length of a football field.
<h2> Hours of Operation </h2>
The official hours are 8:00 AM to one hour after sunset.
<h2> For More Information </h2>
To learn more about The Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, visit the websites below. Included on the website are maps, trail guides, brochures, weather conditions, and much more information. Phone numbers are also provided for different activities.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450 (Official State Website)
http://www.redwoodhorses.com/ (For Reservations for Horseback Riding)
17000 Armstrong Woods Road
Guerneville, CA 95446
707-869-2015 (Main Office)
707-869-9177 (Guided Group Hiking)
707-887-2939 (Horseback Riding)
707-865-2394 (Group Picnic Reservations or Weddings)