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.