A forest sanctuary an hour away from the urban sprawl of the San Francisco Peninsula, Portola Redwoods State Park is a breath of cool fresh air. Home to the same ancient and mahogany Semperviren Redwoods that also reside in Big Basin SP, this slightly less popular park is accessible and full of easy to moderate trails.
The draught has robbed the forest of all her advertised waterfalls, but there are still plenty of new growth and fairy rings of baby redwoods to marvel at along the trails. It’s worth the stop to wander along some easy routes and get lost in the wonder of the forest.
You’ll know you’ve gotten to the more strenuous trails when the sounds of playing children and their watchful parents calling them back fades away. In the heart of the forest, only soaring wind crackling leaves together can be heard overhead with the occasional twittering or cawing from up in the tree’s canopy. Sometimes the fallen trunks creak or groan. A fly will buzz nearby and tiny spider’s web-nests hide between the cracks in the bark. Silence is golden out here.