Hike: Henry Cowell Redwoods Park Fall Creek Unit
Sep 14 - South Bay

Important points to note:

  * There are no restrooms near the trail.

  * Dogs are not permitted.

  * We'll start this hike an hour earlier than usual (to avoid heavy traffic).


Register below or e-mail


  • Many of you have probably been to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, a nice shady redwoods-and-creeks kinda park down near Santa Cruz -- perfect for a hot summer day.  But what many *don't* realize is that there's a second half to the park (the Fall Creek Unit), one which is a lot less crowded and which you might consider to actually be a little prettier.  We visit some old lime kilns along the way, along with an ancient redwood.

For more information about Henry Cowell Park, visit the park's web site:

You can download a park brochure and trail map from:

Hike Route:

After entering the park from the parking lot, we will take:

  • Bennett Creek Trail to Fall Creek Trail to South Fork Trail to the kiln ruins.
  • Cape Horn Trail to the Lost Empire Trail for an additional 2.7 miles to the Big Ben Tree.
  • Big Ben Trail until it joins the Fall Creek Trail back to the parking lot.

See for more details.

Warning:  This is a strenuous hike.  Please be sure that you are comfortable with this level of effort before joining us.  And be sure to eat a nutritious breakfast, so that you arrive well fed, well hydrated and ready to hike.  Note that the pictures were taken from a previous hike whose route is slightly different.

What to Bring:

Water (at least 2 litres per person), lunch and some light snacks.  You should probably wear long pants, as there is plenty of poison oak along the trail. No harm in bringing sunblock and a hat, but it's quite shady, so should be comfortable on a summer afternoon.

Driving Directions:

The parking lot is here:

*Take 17 South (you can get there from Hwy 85 or Hwy 280) to the Mt. Hermon Rd. Exit (~20 mins).

*At the light at the end of the exit ramp, turn RIGHT.

*Drive 3.5 miles to the T intersection.  Take a RIGHT onto Graham Hill Rd.

*You'll quickly hit Hwy 9 (you'll see a Chevron on your right).

*Go straight across.  The road becomes Felton Empire Rd.

*Drive 0.6 miles.  The parking lot and trailhead are on the right.  It's a bit hard to spot, so keep your eyes open.

Driving time:  30 minutes from the intersection of Hwys 85 and 17.


Carpooling is highly recommended. We plan to set up a carpool site and will send the link to all who RSVP. We do not assume responsibility for carpool arrangements (we merely do so as a courtesy to help hikers make their own plans).

Rain policy:

If it's raining significantly, the hike is off. If the weather is ambiguous, we will send out an email to all who have RSVP'd and to the list on the morning of the hike. You can join that email list by going to the web page. You will receive emails about each upcoming hike ~1 week in advance. The volume on that list is very low (~2 emails/month).

The NWS forecast for Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park may be found at


Joining any hike is entirely voluntary and participants assume any and all risks associated with the activities.  By registering or attending this event, participants agree to the conditions posted at:

Contact: Lyman Hurd

Event Closed

Date and Time

Saturday, September 14, 2019
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM PT

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Fall Creek Unit, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
1561 Felton Empire Road
Felton CA, 95018

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Primary Contact

Lyman Hurd

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