Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
including Fall Creek
Henry Cowell Redwoods is centered around a 40-acre old-growth redwood grove. South of the grove is a larger area of second-growth parkland situated along the San Lorenzo River, with hiking trails and a state-owned campground. To the north is the Fall Creek unit, another sizable park dominated by second-growth redwoods. Also in the area is a huge Christian conference center and numerous privately-owned, redwood-themed campgrounds and resorts, not to mention the immensely popular Roaring Camp Railroad, which comes complete with a kitschy Old West-themed visitor center and steam train rides through the redwoods. All these facilities are here, at least in part, because of those few acres of old-growth redwood.
The park is only eight miles from Santa Cruz, and the various attractions are popular, but not unpleasantly so. In the summer, the park is much cooler than most other places in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the San Lorenzo River in particular is a popular family retreat. Near the old growth grove is one of the nicer gift shops to be found in a state park, as well as ample pay parking.
Old-growth redwood hikes
** The Redwood Grove Loop Trail (0.8 mile)
*** Four Crossings (6.6 miles)
* The Truck Trail and Fall Creek (7.0 miles)
* Big Ben and Fall Creek (8.2 miles)
© 2006, 2012 David Baselt