Big Basin State Park
It all started when...
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California's oldest state park, established in 1902. Home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, the park consists of over 18,000 acres of old growth and recovering redwood forest, with mixed conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats. Elevations in the park vary from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The climate ranges from foggy and damp near the ocean to sunny, warm ridge tops.
The park has over 80 miles of trails. Some trails link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz Range. The Basin Easement Trail connects Big Basin with Butano State Park. The Skyline to the Sea Trail threads its way through the park along Waddell Creek into Ranch del Oso, then adjacent to the Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve, a freshwater marsh, and ending at Waddell Beach where you can take in the sea birds and mammals.
The park has a surprising number of waterfalls, the best know being Berry Creek Falls the tallest of 3 waterfalls in the area. There a wide variety of environments from lush canyon bottoms to sparse chaparral-covered slopes. Many animals such as deer, raccoon, coyote, fox, an occasional bobcat, mountain lion, and many bird species--including California Quail, Egrets, Herons, Hawks, Owls, Woodpeckers, Swifts, American Dipper, and the endangered Marbled Murrelet call Big Basin home. And of course there are always plenty of banana slugs !