During our West Coast trip, we drove from Monterey, CA up to Napa and wanted to stop at one of the Redwood State Parks. There were a few options near San Francisco, including the very popular Muir Woods. We wanted something a little less crowded and ended up picking Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park as it was mostly on our way, far enough from San Francisco to be less crowded, and had an easy walk for little kids.
Follow signs to the visitor’s center and you’ll hit a pay station ($10 for day car parking) and the parking lot. There are bathrooms, a small shop, a covered picnic area (very handy as it rained while we were there) and then a visitor’s center with great exhibits. The shop and visitor’s center are open 10-4, but the park is open sunrise to sunset. Outside the visitor’s center was a MASSIVE slice from a tree that was ancient. You can see the markings above that show what was happening in history when it was growing. This tree was 2,200 years old or so when it was cut in 1934!
The visitor’s center was great–full of exhibits the kids could touch and explanations of what they might see.
The park has a number of walking and hiking trails. We chose the easiest trail as we were short on time and DD3 would be walking.
DD loved looking up at all the tall tall trees. And as a bonus, her bright rain jacket made her POP!
Most of the path had fencing, but this tree was accessible for hugging. I think it would take more than one little girl to reach around it!
We had such a nice little walk and then a picnic under the covered patio area. DS1 was in the hiking backpack on hubby’s back and I had an umbrella protecting my camera! On dry days, the path would be stroller and potentially wheelchair accessible, but it was too muddy during our visit for either of those.
Next door is the Roaring Camp Railroads, where you can take a train ride up to see Redwoods. We didn’t do it, but my brother and his family did previously and highly recommend it if you have more time.