This is a strenuous hike, but the views at the top are worth the hills (maybe). We will hike the East Ridge - Pool Ridge Loop. Hiking distance is 5.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. This loop circles the heart of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve on two ridges that overlook the first-growth redwood forest deep in the Fife Creek Canyon. The East Ridge Trail climbs through Douglas fir, tanbark oak, California bay laurel and madrones, emerging to far-reaching views across the tops of the ancient forest. En route, the trail crosses the headwaters of Fife Creek and passes Pond Farm, which was home, workshop and school of well-known ceramic artist Marguerite Wildenhain from 1949 to 1980. The Pool Ridge Trail parallels the opposite side of the canyon from the Gilliam Creek Trailhead in the Austin Creek State Recreation Area and leads to the canyon floor.
We will meet at 9:00 at the small visitor center in the first parking lot to the right. There is no fee for this lot.
Bring a lunch. Rain is not in the forecast, but be prepared for fog or sun by wearing layered clothes. Bring plenty of water and if you have trekking poles, they'll be very useful.
Dogs are not allowed on park trails.
This hike can take from 4 to 5 hours, not including a lunch break. I'd expect to be back to the parking lot no later than 3:00 p.m.
For more information about this park, click on this website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450
Just meet at the locations and drivers/passengers will be figured out there. Please let us know where you will meet when you RSVP.
Santa Rosa – River Road at PG&E Park and Ride. Will leave this location at 8:15 a.m.
Rohnert Park – Northbound Park and Ride just off Rohnert Park Expressway. Will leave this location at 7:45 a.m.