It was a beautiful winter day here in Santa Cruz, so we decided to take a quick hike in in the redwoods to spend some time in nature! We headed up to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, which is a beautiful slice of tranquility that's only 10 minutes from downtown. Going in by the back entrance (a campground area that's closed in winter) we were able to avoid any crowds and had most of the hike to ourselves on this lovely day!
We walked the Pine Loop, which is a short 2.5 mile trail around the upper elevations of the park. As the sounds of the road faded into the distance, muffled by the dense canopy, we got to hear the calls of a wide variety of coastal birds including woodpeckers, sapsuckers and jays. The trees in Henry Cowell grow close and most of the of the trail was shaded and chilly, but our knit hats kept us quite warm!
Emerging from the trees, we walked up to the top of a sparse ridge, recently cleared in anticipation of California's fire season. Although we were close to town, there is evidence of humans impact all over the wilderness, and it is good to see sustainable management practices in place to help wildlife adapt and recover from events such as forest fires. At the top of the ridge there was a raised observation deck, with quite the view!
You could see all the way across the Monterey bay, to the Salinas Valley! We were both astounded that we were able to see this far from a relatively low elevation, and without having to hike very far at all. It got windy on the observation deck and Melissa lost her hat for a moment, but I was able to keep mine on.
It was nice to step out in nature for a moment, and just appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us. There isn't always time to trek to far away wilderness, but we're planning some sweet adventures for 2018 so stay tuned!
See you in the wild!