Armstrong Woods State Park, Guerneville
Wine Country/Santa Rosa, California, USA
Armstrong Woods is a nice place to bring kids because the trails are wide and flat and very easy for kids to walk along. Kids can gaze up at the amazing huge redwoods, and you can explain to them the interesting facts that are written on plaques throughout the park. The plaques explain fairy rings (new trees that sprout in a circle from a damaged tree), duff (that decomposed matter that is on the ground all over the park), how the trees intertwine their roots to provide greater strength, and how ancient the trees are. Parson James- no, that's not the ranger, it's a tree- is 1300 years old! There's a great bisection of a tree with rings labeled with events in history, going back hundreds of years. This gives kids a feel for how old these trees really are. There are also some trees that have fallen, whose roots are beautiful to behold. What astounded me was how perfectly quiet it is in the forest- complete silence. And how soft the ground feels beneath your feet because of the duff.
The visitor center at the parking lot has some nice toys that teach about nature. My son loves the compass that he got there.
Dogs are allowed here, on leash.
If you're hungry, head back along Armstrong Woods Rd and right on River Rd to downtown Guerneville, a cute town that you can walk around, where there are many restaurants.
While you're in Guerneville, drive just one minute down to Johnson's Beach and check out the peaceful Russian River and the historic Guerneville Bridge.
For some kiddie fun in the summertime, check out the historical Pee Wee's Minigolf, which is in a pretty location and has some unusual holes- it's a lot of fun!
For a more adventurous day, rent canoes or bring a tube and float down the incredibly beautiful Russian River past hills covered in champagne vineyards and mountains brimming with redwoods.
Light peaks round the base of a massive redwood trunk.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
From the town of Guerneville, on River Road, turn north on Armstrong Woods Rd. Follow it to the end. There is a parking lot on your right before you reach the pay booth. You can park there and save some money!
If you want to drive into the park, it's $8 per car.
Open daily 8am to one hour after sunset.
The address is: 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446.
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