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 be
refreshing after the holidays. Rain turns grasses and moss green again,
and the air is clear. You can stroll in silence amid towering trees on
the Redwood Loop Trail.

If you come on a weekend, stop by the new nature center (open 10 to
4 Saturdays and Sundays). Inside are animal displays and panels showing
native plants and the history of logging in the area.

The .8-mile, self-guided Redwood Loop nature trail (brochure 15
cents) begins outside the center; it shows you coast redwoods up to 285
feet tall, a fire-damaged tree whose hollow base is gradually being
filled in by living bark, and circles of younger trees growing from a
root crown.

Park entrance for the Redwood Loop Trail is 1 mile south of Felton
on State Highway 9. Day-use fee is $2.

Nearby residents who enjoy natural history can join docent classes
beginning January 19. You’ll be trained to lead walks and develop
programs for eight parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Write to Pat
Garske, Santa Cruz Mountains Natural History Association, 101 N. Big
Trees Road, Felton 95018, or telephone (408) 335-7077.

Photo: Filtering through redwoods at Henry Cowell, winter sunshine
takes the chill off morning hikers


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