Henry Cowell State Park and Roaring Camp Railroad

Monday, June 13, 2016

Featuring a variety of redwood forested areas, Henry Cowell State Park offers beautiful views along the San Lorenzo river, family friendly trails and magical picnic spots. Henry Cowell State Park is a great nature adventure for families!
After parking in the main parking lot, we continued to the excellent and very informative Nature Center and visited the friendly rangers. Here, you can also buy the Redwood Grove Loop Trail Self-Guided map for 25 cents. For parents and older kids, it will help you understand the magnificence of this very special place. 

The Redwood Grove Loop Trail is a short 0.8 mile trail. It's toddler, stroller and dog friendly, and easy and short enough for toddler to finish it by themselves. We had barely walked 30 feet into the park when we spotted our first banana slug of the day. We ended up seeing 3! How exciting!
About half way through the Redwood Grove Loop is the amazing Fremont Tree. This tree was hollowed out by fire and was once used as a resort honeymoon room! Daniel loved going in and out, prepare your flashlights for extra fun time!
Right after the Fremont tree, at the south end of the loop trail, look for a gated dirt road. This is the River Trail. About half a mile farther there's a bridge that took us to a fun spot on the San Lorenzo River. When we visited the river's water level was very low and the kids loved walking and playing in the gentle water flow. Aside from splashing in the river, there's a railroad bridge right above you and you can see trains crossing it. The kids had a great time!
Redwood Grove Loop Trail
Fremont Tree
San Lorenzo River
Gift shop and snack bar in the main parking lot are nice and not expensive.

Across from the gift shop, in the other side of the parking lot, there’s an entrance to the Roaring Camp Railroad. We stopped there for lunch and live music before heading back home.

Roaring Camp Railroad
Henry Cowell State Park:
Park Entrance Fee: $10/car. This is good for all day long in all state parks and beaches, so keep your receipt if you’re heading to the beach!
Park Hours: Sunrise to sunset.

Roaring Camp Railroad: http://www.roaringcamp.com/

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