the world’s tallest, living trees.
There’s not much one can say about these incredibly beautiful, long-lived, resilient, fire-resistant and evergreen sky scraping giants! Even on a warm day the air within the forest stays reasonably cool. There’s really nothing else quite like it! The oldest tree at Armstrong Woods is believed to be around 1,400 years old!
This area was the home of the Kashaya Pomo Native American people before the arrival of Russian fur traders in the early 1800s, and later of course the lumber barons. The lives of the native populations were forever changed.
The world’s only remaining coast redwood forests exist naturally along the Pacific coast from Central California to just north of the Oregon border. Underneath these tall trees you’ll see sword ferns; lots of redwood sorrel; perhaps a raven or Stellar’s jay, lizards, banana slugs, trillium wildflowers …
Around 1875, Colonel James B. Armstrong, a lumber Barron from Ohio, moved with his family to Sonoma County, California, where he eventually became friends with the horticultural genius Luther Burbank. Armstrong bought densely wooded property around Guerneville and started to clear-cut much of the area. He did however appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the redwood trees and therefore wanted to preserve some of the original redwood forests. He deeded about 600 acres to his daughter. The public was allowed to visit these preserved forests and in the 1930s, the State of California purchased this area and turned it into a State Forest. In the mid 60s, the State of California started to acquire land around Armstrong Woods which it combined into a nature reserve. Today, Austin Creek State Recreational Area and Armstrong Woods spread out over a combined area of around 1,700 acres of protected woodlands and wildlife habitat, accessible to the public for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking, camping and just plain enjoyment.
If you ever find yourself traveling in California, be sure to visit one of these magnificent wonders of the natural world!
We’ve lived in many parts of Northern California over the years, in and near the redwoods, and loved hiking and exploring these forests in our free time.
One last look at these magnificent trees!