Henry Cowell Redwoods SP
Narrated by Russ Christoff
In 1875, a railroad was constructed to haul lumber from the town Felton to Santa Cruz.
When the railroad connected with the line from San Jose, tourists flocked to the Felton area to visit its giant redwoods.
Today, some of this area is now protected by the State, and known as Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
Not far from Santa Cruz, this park attracts people who like to camp in mixed evergreens and live oak.
The Nature Center is a good place to start your visit. Here you will learn about some of the plants and animals that inhabit the park, especially Poison Oak.
This is one plant you will need to be able to identify.
The Mountain Parks’ Foundation operates the Environmental Education Center, which contains a gift shop and book store, and all the items sold here have a nature related theme.
The giant redwoods are located along an easy level three-quarter mile nature route. This trail will take visitors past redwoods that are as tall as 285 feet and 1,500 years old.
Ferns, Tan Oak, Bay Maple and other trees and plants are companions to redwoods, and can also be readily found here.
Valerie, the ranger had information about the park.
Valerie, tell me a little bit about the campgrounds at Henry Cowell.
RANGER VALERIE: We have a lovely campground here. It has 113 sites, there are no hookups. We do have some nice level places that will accommodate trailers or fifth wheel up to about 35 feet.
We have a picnic table and fire ring and water at each of the campsites.
The campground has some sunny places and some that are very shady.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: How did the park get its name?
RANGER VALERIE: Henry Cowell was an industrialist who came here in 1865 and established lime kilns, and his family donated most of the land that makes up the park today.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: Which is how big? How many acres?
RANGER VALERIE: About 1,800 acres in this portion. I would say that what is really special about this park is the variety that we have here.
We have old growth redwoods, where you’re in the shade in the forest, and we have the river which has beaches and wonderful places in the summertime.
And, just a few miles away, you have the entire Monterey Bay coastline, or all of the State beaches and other places to visit. And we are just an hour away from the South Bay area.