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Return to Sonoma County: Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve

October 9, 2009 1 comment

In July 2009 we returned to the Sonoma / Napa area for our 2nd year in a row  — the first trip was great but this trip was even better.  We arrived in Sonoma late afternoon and had made an appointment to enjoy a stone massage at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.  We arrived an hour or so early to enjoy the “bathing ritual” as it gave us the opportunity to enjoy both the warm and hot mineral soaking pools, the herbal steam room and the dry sauna.  After all of that, this kid was almost completely relaxed and we sat in the lounge enjoying flavored teas and fruit — I was in heaven.  Next, we enjoyed a 90 minute stone massage — now that is the way to begin a vacation!  Completely relaxed, we were ready for our hike the next day as our plan was to go to the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.

Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve: The hour drive from the Mission Inn was easy and relaxing and once we arrived at the Reserve we parked on the roadside and began our hike — starting out on the “Pioneer Trail.”  Completely surrounded by beautiful redwoods and other vegetation, I was completely amazed  — no photograph I have seen has captured the beauty of this place.  You just have to experience this to truly appreciate the beauty.  As we were walking the trail one of the locals pointed out the “Burbank Circle” which she explained is a grouping of centuries old redwoods that form almost a perfect circle.

As we walked we veered off the common path and decided to climb up a bit as we knew that I had a trusty map in my pocket (we forgot that a map is only as good as the one using it!).  Fortunately, I did not have to use my map reading skills as we easily found our way around as the trails were well marked.

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As we strolled back onto the path leading to the Redwood Forest Theater we noticed tables set up for those participating in a Wine walk — what a great idea!

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Redwood Forest Theater

The Colonel Armstrong Tree is an amazing sight as it is about 1400 years old and is the Reserve’s oldest tree and is 308 feet tall with a diameter of around 15 feet.

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Colonel Armstrong Tree

The beauty of the Armstrong Redwood Reserve is well worth the effort to enjoy and experience.

Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve:  17000 Armstrong Woods Road;  Guerneville, CA 95446