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Redwood Grove Loop

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Immerse yourself in a living exhibit of ancient redwoods.

Length

0.9 miles

Rated

Easy*

Trail Type

Loop

Elevation Gain

42 feet

Looking for an easy–and majestic–adventure in nature? Explore some of the biggest redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains on one of the most accessible trails in the region: the Redwood Grove Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Rated “easy” by California State Parks, this 0.9-mile loop features wide and mostly flat trails, with compact ground. It is ideal for most every visitor, including those seeking mobility that matches their pace and style. Meander through ancient redwoods and enjoy interpretive signs, an audio tour, and plenty of benches for rest and contemplation.

And if you are looking for more adventure, the loop connects to more rugged trails that lead to swimming, creeks, meadows, and even extremely rare sandhill dunes.

*Trail ratings vary and in this guide you will find information to make the best choice for your health and wellness goals.

Trails Rx

Enjoy the health benefits of time in nature on the Redwood Grove Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Why is this a healthful experience?

Self-paced trails

Immersion into a special natural world

Resting spots for contemplation

Easy access to more challenging adventures

Trails Rx Benefits

Unleash the Healing Power of Nature

Trails Rx was established to help you improve your physical and mental health while enjoying time in nature. With guidance from Sempervirens Fund's Wellness Advisor, Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, we took inspiration from her work with Iowa's Hartman Reserve Nature Center.

The program promotes regular use of these trails, or parks near you, to integrate nature's healing benefits into daily life.

"Research increasingly finds that human health is improved by spending time in nature. Whether exercising, birdwatching, or spending quiet, mindful time outdoors, a host of physical and mental health benefits have been confirmed."

Volunteer Application 2024 Sempervirens Fund

Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller
MD, FACOG FABOIM Sempervirens Fund Wellness Advisor

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What Does the Data Say?

Here are ways you can measure the benefits of enjoying the Redwood Grove Loop trail:

Light Pace

2.5 miles per hour

Trail Length

0.9 miles

Metabolic Equivalent of Task

The amount of energy used while active compared to energy used sitting still.

3.2 METs

Time

22 minutes

Calories

Estimates vary by weight.

130 lbs

71 calories

165 lbs

91 calories

200 lbs

110 calories

235 lbs

129 calories

Moderate Pace

3.5 miles per hour

Trail Length

0.9 miles

Metabolic Equivalent of Task

The amount of energy used while active compared to energy used sitting still.

4.1 METs

Time

15 minutes

Calories

Estimates vary by weight.

130 lbs

65 calories

165 lbs

83 calories

200 lbs

100 calories

235 lbs

118 calories

Trail Benefits

Health Benefits of Unique Features along the Redwood Grove Loop Trail

Reduce stress.

A study found that just twenty to thirty minutes in nature lowered study participants’ stress hormones cortisol and alpha-amylase in their saliva by 21% and 28%, respectively. How do you feel after a walk around Redwood Grove Loop?

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Memory and attention.

Research is finding that time in nature is good for our memory, attention and creativity. For example, one study found that memory and attention span were improved by 20% after just one hour in nature. Another one compared novice versus experienced hikers and found that those who were more experienced demonstrated better memory on a performance test than the novice hikers. These findings suggest that it’s good for our brain health to regularly hit the trails!

Immune boost.

Time in nature boosts the immune system in ways that are still being explored. For example, we know that simply inhaling “phytoncides,” a component in the essential oils from trees, has been found to boost our level and activity of Natural Killer immune cells that circulate in our bloodstream to attack viruses, bacteria, and even tumor cells. Research has found that this benefit lasts for as long as thirty days out from a nature experience, so make it at least a monthly goal to visit the trails!

References: https://doi.org/10.1080/08923970600809439 and https://doi.org/10.1007/s12199-008-0068-3.

See more below in our Invitations section for suggestions to maximize this experience.

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Invitations

Body and Mind Contemplation

We believe each place has the potential to reward our senses and bring us peace and mindfulness. In the practice of Shinrin-yoku, or Forest Bathing, invitations are prompts we can give ourselves to invite an inward response to the nature we are experiencing. In this section we offer invitations you might respond to in your experience visiting the Redwood Grove Loop Trail.

Pleasures of Presence

For these invitations sit, stand, or rest comfortably against something solid and close your eyes or lower them to the ground.

Rest comfortably and slowly breathe, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice the air: the fragrance, the temperature, and the moisture.

Invitations for the Redwood Grove Loop Trail

Stop moving for a moment and gaze in all directions until a particular Redwood catches your attention. Move toward the tree and when you find a location where you can see it well, find a place to sit or perhaps lean against or near another tree. Take five minutes or so to very slowly gaze up the tree that caught your attention, starting with the roots as far away as they extend, up the trunk of the tree, exploring the branches with your eyes, and taking the full five minutes to gaze ever so slowly to the very top of the tree. What do you notice?

You might spend some time jotting down or journaling what you noticed during this experience.

Learn more about Forest Bathing and check out a longer list of invitations to consider.

About the Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, located in the Santa Cruz mountains, draws visitors from all around the world. The park’s 4,650 acres offer impressive 360-degree views of surrounding mountains and Monterey Bay, and a diversity of habitats but it is best known for its 40-acre grove of old-growth redwood trees which launched a movement. A visit to this ancient redwood grove, by photographer Andrew P. Hill, more than a century ago helped launch the Sempervirens Club (now, Sempervirens Fund) and the redwood preservation movement.

What The Park Offers

Accessibility

Parking Lot

Seating benches

Drinking fountains

Restrooms

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The Redwood Grove Loop Trail through redwood at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
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Getting There

Know before you go: Visit the trail page for the latest updates.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

The park is located five miles from Highway 17 in Felton, California.

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