Armstrong Redwoods Facilities & Activities
The reserve includes a visitor center, large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic facilities. There are 9.2 miles of hiking trails in the reserve. While you can drive into the park, the best way to experience the dramatic effect of the towering redwoods is to park in the lot at the park entrance and walk in for free. All of the park features are a short easy stroll along level trails that are disability accessible. Please note that dogs are not allowed on any of the footpaths or hiking trails - they must be kept to paved roads only.
Features of the Grove
Located 0.1 mile from the park entrance, the Parson Jones Tree is the tallest tree in the grove, measuring more than 310 feet in height. This is longer than the length of a football field.
A half-mile walk from the park entrance, the Colonel Armstrong Tree is the oldest tree in the grove, estimated to be over 1400 years old.
This tree shows the unusual burl formations often found on redwood trees. Burls can weigh many tons and grow hundreds of feet above the forest floor. Why these growths occur remains a mystery.
This trail offers a wheelchair accessible pathway and a tree hugging platform.
Armstrong Nature Trail
This self-guided nature trail is an easy stroll through the Grove and is also wheelchair accessible. Self-guided plaques along the trail highlight natural features.
Redwood Forest Theater
This natural outdoor amphitheater is located in the heart of redwood grove. It seats over 400 people and is the home of Stewards' Old Grove Festival each September.
State Parks Volunteer docent guides are available to lead tours of Armstrong Redwoods SNR. For school group trips, please review all procedures via our School Group Reservation Form. Other group visits must be made by appointment using our Online Reservation Form. For more information, please call Stewards at (707) 869-9177.
Visitor Center & Gift Shop
The Visitor Center is located in the front parking lot of the park. Staffed by knowledgeable docents, it is open daily from 11am-3pm. The center includes interpretive displays about the natural and cultural history of the park as well as a well-designed diorama. Visitors will find high quality educational sales items and apparel. Cold water is available for a donation.
Armstrong Redwoods SNR is a wonderful place to get away from traffic and enjoy the quiet and serenity of the redwood forest. During the spring months, dozens of school groups come for tours and to picnic. Many locals and visitors flock to Armstrong Redwoods SNR's picnic areas to escape the hot summer afternoons, particularly on weekends. The busiest day of the year for picnics is Mother’s Day in May, when picnic areas often reach capacity.
There are two picnic areas in the redwood grove. You can drive into the grove and park adjacent to the picnic areas for a small day use fee. The Group Picnic Area is 3/4 of a mile from the park entrance. Nearby Fife Creek sings with water during the wet winter months, slows to trickle during late spring and may often be dry during the summer. There is a lovely seasonal waterfall within an easy hike. Facilities include: 9 large picnic tables, 1 large BBQ pit, 3 standard size picnic grills and nearby restrooms. There is no electrical service in the picnic area and amplified music is prohibited. The Group Picnic Area is available on a reservation basis. Group size is strictly limited to a maximum of 150 people. For current fees and more information, such as how to reserve the Group Picnic Area and/or plan a special event like a wedding, please contact Liz Beale at the State Park District office: (707) 865-2394 or email. Nearby (but not including the group area) are 70 picnic tables available on a first-come first-served basis.
- 1 Mile: Take the Pioneer Trail from the park entrance to the Armstrong Tree and Forest Theater, returning via the same route.
- 1.7 Miles: Take the Pioneer Trail from the park entrance to the Armstrong Tree, then to the picnic area, and return.
- 2.2 Miles with a 400' climb: Take the East Ridge Trail from the front parking lot to the picnic area and return to the entrance via the Pioneer
- 2.3 Miles with a 500' climb: Take the Pioneer Trail from the entrance to the Armstrong Tree. Then take the Pool Ridge Trail to the picnic area.
Return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.
Moderate to Strenuous
- 3.3 Miles: This is a combination of the above two hikes. Take the East Ridge trail from the front parking lot to the picnic area. Then take
the Pool Ridge Trail to the Armstrong Tree and return to the entrance via the Pioneer Trail.
Note: Dogs are not allowed on any footpaths or hiking trails in Armstrong Redwoods SNR or Austin Creek SRA. However, dog walkers are welcome to use the paved roads throughout the park (please remember to clean up after your pet). Bicycles are allowed on service roads only. Horses are not allowed on the Pioneer or Discovery Trails, but are permitted on the East Austin Creek and Pool Ridge Trails (please deposit all manure in the nearest designated garbage box). Please respect all private property and no trespassing signs when hiking, stay on designated trails and do not cross low-level fencing. As the weather can change drastically between grove and foothills, it is best to bring layered clothing and plenty of water.
Historically, the Group Picnic Area used to function as the park's main campground. Now, Austin Creek SRA (the park adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods SNR) is home to the beautiful Bullfrog Pond Campground: a 24-site, wooded sanctuary that encircles a natural spring-fed pond. The campground is open year round, except during extreme weather conditions. Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on a leash at all times and to paved roads only (pets are not allowed on the hiking trails).
(Note: Austin Creek SRA is accessed through the same entrance as Armstrong Redwoods SNR.)