Each quarter we feature a few hikes that highlight the best of what California State Parks has to offer each season. Remember to bring enough water and sunblock.
Leo Carrillo State Park (Los Angeles County) 28 miles north west of Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway, is a great place for a hike. Visitors should park in the parking lot and walk under the highway, and on to the sand. Continuing up the hill, visitors can stroll along the bluffs for a view of the kelp forest below, then on to the second staircase for a stroll through the sea tunnel, if the tide allows. A picnic in the cove can be a special treat. For more information, call the park at (805) 986-8591.
Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area (Alameda County) located in the northernmost part of the San Joaquin Valley, is known for water-oriented recreation, especially fishing and windsurfing. It also features a bike trail along the California Aqueduct Bikeway, and many windmills. It is also the northern terminus of the California Aqueduct and is located beneath the windmills of the Altamont Pass. The recreation area is northeast of Livermore, seven miles off Interstate 580 at the Grant Line Road exit. The park phone number is (209) 599-3810.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Humboldt County) approximately 20 miles north of Garberville off Highway 101, encompasses nearly 53,000 acres, of which over 17,000 are untouched old growth coast redwoods. With over 100 miles of trails available to hikers there is something for everyone. The Founders Grove Loop Trail offers a scenic stroll through the ancient redwood forest. This self-guided nature hike is .6 miles with a brochure available at the trailhead. The hike features the Founder’s Tree, named in honor of the founders of the Save the Redwoods League, and the Dyerville Giant, at one time the tallest tree in the world, which fell in 1991 and now provides nutrients to the next generation of trees in the forest. The Founder’s Grove parking area is located at mile marker 20.5 on the Avenue of the Giants. For more information contact the Visitor Center at (707) 946-2263.
Links to other Northern California Hikes