A cool hike in the Cowell Redwoods, near Santa Cruz Essay

A cool hike in the Cowell redwoods, near Santa Cruz A January hike in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park can berefreshing after the holidays.

Rain turns grasses and moss green again,and the air is clear. You can stroll in silence amid towering trees onthe Redwood Loop Trail. If you come on a weekend, stop by the new nature center (open 10 to4 Saturdays and Sundays). Inside are animal displays and panels showingnative plants and the history of logging in the area. The .8-mile, self-guided Redwood Loop nature trail (brochure 15cents) begins outside the center; it shows you coast redwoods up to 285feet tall, a fire-damaged tree whose hollow base is gradually beingfilled in by living bark, and circles of younger trees growing from aroot crown.

Park entrance for the Redwood Loop Trail is 1 mile south of Feltonon State Highway 9. Day-use fee is $2. Nearby residents who enjoy natural history can join docent classesbeginning January 19. You’ll be trained to lead walks and developprograms for eight parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Write to PatGarske, Santa Cruz Mountains Natural History Association, 101 N.

BigTrees Road, Felton 95018, or telephone (408) 335-7077. Photo: Filtering through redwoods at Henry Cowell, winter sunshinetakes the chill off morning hikers

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