2019 1st Day Hikes

Renew yourself with a visit to our unique State Parks on New Years Day.

The PCRF and  State Parks are sponsoring the set of interpretive hikes listed belowto start the New Year.

Portola Redwoods State Park

Hike 1    Slate Creek Trail

Meeting Place: Portola Redwoods Visitor Center

Time: 10:30 AM

Hike Duration: 4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Leader: Eric Schmidt – PCRF Board Member

Learn about unique history as we hike 6 miles round trip through pristine redwood forest to the Page Mill site and back. As wildflowers disappear, mushrooms begin to emerge from the depths of the duff, and many of the forests creatures welcome the change of pace as winter settles in. This journey will require hiking or running shoes, water, and picnic snacks. This moderate hike will likely take around 4 hours, so please prepare accordingly. This event is free but there is a $10 parking fee in the Day Use lots.  – RAIN OR SHINE

This event is made possible by CA State Parks and Portola and Castle Rock Foundation.

Hike 2   Old Tree Trail

Meeting Place: Portola Redwoods Visitor Center

Time: 2:00pm

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Length of Hike: 1 mile/ 1.5 hours

On this hike we’ll stroll through an old growth redwood grove in search of the “Old Tree” that’s over 1,200 years old. Additionally we will discover the banana slug’s vital role in this flourishing forest, and learn about the marvelous Marbled Murrelet and how park visitors can help save these endangered birds.


Castle Rock State Park

Hike 1   Castle Rock Loop

Meeting Palce: Castle Rock Main Parking lot

Time: 11:00am

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Duration:  2 hours

Hike Leader: Brandon Caskey – Park Interpreter

This Hike includes Castle Rock and down to the falls.  During this trip, we will discuss Castle Rock’s unique geology, plant diversity, human impacts and various important preservationists that helped give Castle Rock State Park the protections we have today.

Hike 2  Little Visited  Historic Part of the Park

Meet Place : Waterman Gap turnout on Hgw 9

Time 11Am

Hike Duration 2 ½ hours.

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate

Leader: Miles Standish –Ex-Park Ranger and PCRF Board Member 

This walk will visit echoes of the past in Castle Rock and Big Basin State Parks.  We will see and talk about the old California Redwood Park entrance road, see remains of the incredibly long water system that used to supply Big Basin Redwoods State Park, talk about logging and visit the remains of Waterman Switch on the old Dougherty Extension Railroad.  As part of our stroll into the past of the 19th and early 20th century, I will talk about redwoods and the amazing redwood community in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Please be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes/boots and water.  This will not be strenuous but will require the ability to hike off trail to a slight degree.  Please, no pets (Kids can bring their parents as long as the parent is on a leash 6′ or shorter….just kidding, the leash can be somewhat longer….)

This event is made possible by CA State Parks and Portola and Castle Rock Foundation.


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