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Henry Cowell Redwoods SP (cont'd)

Oddities like the stunted albino redwood and the transplanted dawn redwood, the coast redwood’s Chinese cousin, spice up the scenery in the old-growth area near the .8-mile Redwood Loop. Don’t miss the Nature Center, brought to you by the fiercely dedicated treehuggers at the Mountain Parks Foundation. It’s an excellent way to get your bearings and figure out what you’re seeing and hearing.

Bound by the meandering San Lorenzo River and steep gorges formed by two creeks, Eagle Creek and Powder Mill Creek, this park offers the most dramatic mountain topography available in these parts. Bird life is accordingly rich; in one trip you can hear pileated woodpeckers and Western screech-owls in the woods, spot belted kingfishers and common mergansers near the waterways, and watch chestnut-backed chickadees congregate in the meadow borderlands. Black-tail deer, coyotes, steelhead trout and a very few coho salmon also make their homes here.

A campsite hosts tents and RVs May 1–Oct. 31. Reservations in summertime are a must. Make them at www.ReserveAmerica.com.

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