Cal Redwoods Samuel P. Taylor St Park (Submitted by yosemitejudy)

In metropolitan areas throughout the world there are islands of calm amongst the traffic and hustle and bustle of a fast paced life. The Bay Area is no exception. But we do have something that is uniquely California—the coastal redwoods.

I’ve been living in New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Country for the past 7 years. While it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, nothing compares with the California redwoods. As my plane landed just a short time ago, I couldn’t wait to spend time amongst these silent giants again. There is something so magical about these majestic trees.

While Muir Woods is an outstanding national monument, I like the less crowded parks that only the locals seem to know. Samuel P. Taylor State Park, just 15 miles west of San Rafael on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is one of our treasured and easily accessible redwood parks. Taylor has an absolutely beautiful picnic area along Pagemill Creek. A great place to camp, close to home is here as well with 61 family campsites with FLUSH toilets (yeah!) and hot showers. There is even a special camping area for bicyclists. Group camping and picnicking is also available.

A 3 mile level, paved bike trail travels the park as well as lovely hiking trails from the coolness of the ferns and forests to the grassy upper slopes of the park. Next time you are on your way to the coast through Marin, plan some extra time to enjoy this beautiful park that is more than just a pretty bend in the road. Our coastal redwood parks are truly Northern California at its best. –My next stop…Hendy Woods State Park in Philo...I can't wait!

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