Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

This is the same hike we did on July 12, 2014.  If you want to see the photos and hear the comments about this wonderful hike, click here:  http://www.meetup.com/Senior-Walkabouters/photos/23141002/.  

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 10:00 at the small visitor center in the first parking lot to the right.  There is no fee for this lot but it does fill up early.  

Trekking poles are recommended.  It can be windy, foggy or hot, so wear layers to be prepared for any type of weather.  Lots of water, sunscreen and a hat is also advised.  Bring a lunch to eat at the top of the ridge for outstanding views.

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 around 3:00 p.m.

For more information about this park, click on this website:  http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450

Carpooling is a great idea.  If you are willing to drive and have extra room in your car, please let us know the best place to meet you.  Usual spots are the Petaluma and Rohnert Park P&R off Hwy. 101 and the PG&E P&R on River Road.

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  • Dianne H.

    Great photos, Rosa!

    August 3

  • Rosa W.

    Great hike. We paid our dues, but the view was worth it!!! Looking forward to do it again later in the year!!

    1 · August 2

  • Mary W.

    I totally enjoyed it. Let's do it again! Thank you, Dianne!

    August 2

  • Dianne H.

    We started out with 8 SWAGGERS. Two went ahead of us and we never saw them again. One turned back after the first mile. The 5 of us enjoyed the entire loop. The weather was warm near the top of the ridge. Beautiful views. Loved the trails in the cool redwoods.

    August 2

  • Beverly H.

    Something came up so can't make this hike. Have fun.

    1 · August 1

  • Marcia P.

    I will meet you all at Armstrong Woods as mo seems to be carpooling from River Road.

    1 · August 1

  • Dianne H.

    Don't forget lots of water (it may be very hot up on the ridge and in the open areas), lunch and poles. If you are going to be late, please leave me a text or phone message at[masked]-4079. I won't have internet access after 8:45 am. See you then!

    August 1

  • Dianne H.

    REMINDER: KILLER HILL! Just a reminder that this is a strenuous hike with an elevation of 1,100 feet. The first 1.2 miles has a 500' elevation gain, but it doesn't seem too bad because of switchbacks and ups and downs and a cool narrow trail. After that it turns into a fire road going straight UP for 1.7 miles until we hit the summit. If you don't think you are in shape for the KILLER HILL, you may want to make a left at the intersection to the picnic area. SHELLY AND ANNA, you may want to do this if you want to make a shorter hike. See you at the FIRST parking lot on the right (free) at 10:00 in front of the Visitor Center/Rest rooms. This parking lot fills up fast, so if it's full you will need to pay the State Park Fee and park after the Ranger's pay station (or have a State Park Pass). You can also drive back the way you came in and park on the right side of the road.

    If you are not going to attend the hike, please remove your name from the RSVP list. Thanks! See you then!

    August 1

  • A former member
    A former member

    My girlfriend, Anna, and I would love to join you guys. We may not go as far though... a 4-hour hike sounds kindda long. Hope that is okay. ;-)

    July 29

  • A former member
    A former member

    It looks beautiful but it also looks too long for me.
    Maybe in a while when i am in a better shape.

    July 28

  • Dianne H.

    Is anyone besides Marcia carpooling from the PG&E/River Road Park and Ride?

    July 28

  • Marcia P.

    I would like to carpool and could meet at the pge on River Road. I would prefer not to drive but could if need be.

    July 28

  • Mary W.

    Hi! I would like to add a guest to the hike on Saturday, August 2nd. We would also need a ride from the Altamont. Dianne, can David McFeeters and I go with you and your ride? Mary Wallace

    July 11

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