Size: 805 acres of coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens).
Location: The reserve is located in Sonoma County, just north of Guerneville.
Difficulty: For the most part – very easy and flat. However, there are moderate and advanced trails.
Other Information: Family friendly, dog friendly (but the doggies have to stay on a leash)
The redwood forests of Northern California offer spectacular weekend getaways, a quick escape from the Sacramento market. Hikers of all ages can enjoy the stunning landscapes waiting to be discovered in the hills of Sonoma County. Despite their grand size and age, these forests comfortably embrace adventurers. An afternoon stroll through these grand natural settings will take you to another world, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This wonderland can be found halfway between the coast and highway 101, just north of the city of Guerneville and the Russian River. The forest is about 75 miles north of San Francisco.
You can begin an easy weekend adventure with a visit to the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Most of the forest has well established hiking paths that have been smoothly graded. They often have rails established on both sides of the path to protect both the hikers and forest. Some of the oldest redwood trees in the reserve are estimated to be to be over 1,400 years old! All along the trek, the Forest Reserve provides information about the history of the area and demonstrate why the forests are so critical to the state's economy and ecology. Most of the paths are very easy to traverse, however there are many moderate to advanced trails available. Consult the reserve map to discover where you may want to explore.
After a day of hiking in the forest, spend a few hours sampling some of the finest wines on earth, cultivated here, on the hills surrounding the forests. Sonoma's international reputation for quality wines goes with a question. If you enjoy wine, it will be worth your time to research which wineries you want to visit. The county is plentiful with a rich variety of wineries. If you are new to wine tasting, you will be very pleasantly surprised by the wineries you discover upon your trip. It is impossible to highlight only one gem in a bowl full of diamonds, but because of it's historical roots in Sonoma County, you may want to visit the Korbell Winery.
When the day is long, and the time for supper has arrived, you may want to explore one of the many wonderful area restaurants. One unique stop along the way is the Applewood Inn and Restaurant. They have a fabulous menu and stunningly comfortable beds. The Applewood is a Sonoma County Historical Landmark, and has long been rewarded with high praise within the industry and the community. It offers a splendid mix of comfort and sophistication. Be sure to take advantage of their wine tasting passport, providing access to many of the area wineries.
Give yourself and a loved one a treat - spend a few days pleasantly lost in these woods. This weekend vacation is the ideal romantic getaway from either Sacramento or San Francisco.