More importantly, I gave my nod because I have been dying to see BIG BASIN REDWOODS STATE PARK. I have heard so much of the park from local news and magazine shows that I really must go and see, even if the drive took 2 hours.
Here's what the website has to say about the park:.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California's oldest State Park, established in 1902. Home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, the park consists of over 18,000 acres of old growth and recovering redwood forest, with mixed conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats. Elevations in the park vary from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The climate ranges from foggy and damp near the ocean to sunny, warm ridge tops.
The park features family and group camping, tent cabins, backpacking camps, hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. The park is open year round and reservations are encouraged during the summer.
The park has over 80 miles of trails. Be sure and pick up a map at park headquarters before your hike and take a look at the multimedia kiosk in the Sempervirens Room (next to park headquarters). There you will find great information, photos, and video of some of the most popular trails.
Some trails link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range. The Skyline to the Sea Trail threads its way through the park along Waddell Creek to the beach and adjacent Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve, a freshwater marsh.
The park has a surprising number of waterfalls and a wide variety of environments from lush canyon bottoms to sparse chaparral-covered slopes. Many animals such as deer, raccoon, coyote, fox, an occasional bobcat, mountain lion, and many bird species--including California quail, egret, heron, hawk, owl, woodpecker, and the endangered marbled murrelet--call Big Basin home. And of course there are always plenty of banana slugs!
We arrived at the park and while checking the information area where we were paying for parking, friends appeared. They have been hiking all morning long. They asked if we'd like to take a few of the paths with them. Near the parking lot there are a handful of paths that are short and easy. We needed short and easy since our friend has mobility issues.
We found their theatre where shows are performed.
We took 3-4 short trails and on one we found ourselves hiking so close to the road.
Soon, we met up with the friends and they invited us to their camp for a little late lunch.
Who wouldn't want to camp here?
The "new friends" were nice and we chatted away like we have known each other forever.
Oh yeah, they brought their birds to camp. They never leave them home. They bring them wherever they go.
Aside from the lovely and peaceful mood hiking under the giants, I found these two really fascinating:
Zoomed on the sign says this is a time capsule. How exciting.
And of course this one -
So pretty and just by the road.
Was glad I said I'd go.
I would love to go back and camp one day.