One of my favorite to recommend places to visit in Sonoma County. Its about a 45 minute drive (26 miles) from Bodega Bay but your transported to what feels like another world. Sitting on 800+ acres it boasts some of the planets oldest and tallest living things. The oldest tree is Colonel Armstrong at 1400+ years old. The tallest tree is Parson Jones at more than 310 feet. Located just north of Guerneville, the land was set aside as a natural reserve by lumberman Colonel James Armstrong in the 1870’s. The State of California took it over in 1934.
Trails among the Redwoods are easy to moderate and some are accessible by wheelchair (Discovery Trail and Armstrong Nature Trail). You can hike a few together for a more vigorous workout or take a trail leading into the Austin Creek State Recreation Area with 20 miles of trails.
My favorite app for hiking is AllTrails. You can purchase or use the free version. Great maps and tips/comments by fellow hikers. Find it here: AllTrails info for Armstrong Redwoods Best Hiking Trails.
Pioneer Nature Trail – Easy 1-1.7 mile depending on turn [Easy]
East Ridge Trail – 2.2 miles with a 400′ climb [Moderate]
Pioneer Trail from entrance to the Armstrong Tree to Pool Ridge Trail back to Pioneer – 2.3 miles with a 500′ climb [Moderate]
Combine the above hikes for a moderate to strenuous 3.3 miles with elevation climbs
Things to Note:
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reseve (17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville) is open daily from 8 a.m. to one hour after official sunset.
Dogs are not allowed on the reserve’s trails. Dogs on leash are only allowed on the main, paved road, in one of the developed picnic areas. Dogs are NOT allowed on any dirt trail or dirt road. Admission is $8 per vehicle, and free to pedestrians and cyclists.
What to do after a day or hiking nature’s beauty? Head over to Korbel Winery (10 min drive) and toast to a wonderful day spent in nature.