fun to do kids muir woods california   Travel for Kids
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Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods
The Muir Woods are one of the few places on earth where kids can see old-growth redwoods. Many of the redwoods here are 600 – 800 years old, the oldest is 1200 years old. The tallest coast redwood in the Muir Woods is 258 feet high. These majestic trees grow from tiny seeds that pop out of cones, or they can sprout from a living tree!
Tip: The Muir Woods are very popular and car parking is very limited. Come early (the park opens at 8am) and try to come during the week to avoid parking hassles. Also, on weekends May to Sept., take a shuttle bus from Marin City or Sausalito (buses run every 30 min.). Click here for the map.

Start your explorations of the Muir Woods at the Visitor Center, with an excellent model of the Muir Woods valley, and a small diorama of redwoods. There’s also a café with good selection of sandwiches, salads, drinks and snacks.

Main Trail –

   

The Main Trail follows along Redwood Creek, a clear sparkling fern-lined stream that’s home to coho and steelhead salmon (no fishing, these lovely fish are endangered). Along with the towering redwoods, look for sword ferns, lady ferns, and moss on the forest floor. The trail is a wide boardwalk so it’s easy with strollers, and open year round.

     

From the visitor center, go up the trail to the first bridge. Check out the huge cross section of a redwood from 960 AD. The self-guided nature trail begins at the Pinchot Tree, ten different stops where kids can learn about not only the redwoods, but the stream, fish, and banana slugs (park map has all the explanations at each of the stops).

     

For a one hour loop walk, along the creek, walk up the trail to Cathedral Grove, come back to bridge 3, cross over the creek and walk back down by Bohemian Grove. Even little kids will have fun with this walk. For a 1 ½ loop hike, continue up to bridge 4, then take the Hillside Trail back to the visitor center.

Fern Creek & Ocean View Trails –

     

Bigger kids will enjoy a longer hike up Fern Creek. From the Main Trail (before bridge 4), take the Fern Creek trail which goes back and forth across the creek – one bridge is built across a huge downed redwood tree! Continue on to the Lost Trail, then Ocean View Trail along the west side of the valley and back down the Main Trail. (Fewer people on this trail that the others above).

  Tips for enjoying the Muir Woods
Picnics – If you’ve brought a picnic, there’s no picnicking along the trails the Muir Woods. Outside of the café are benches, as well as benches near the parking lot (before you enter the national monument).
Poison oak – Poison oak grows along the trails. Keep your eye out for it, as kids can easily brush up against it if they’re wearing shorts. Poison oak is leafy green in spring, reddish brown in late summer.
Cool weather – Cooling fogs are part of the ecology of the Muir Woods. It may be a hot sunny day in summer, but fog can roll in, and the temperature drops considerably. Bring sweatshirts or light jackets to be prepared.
kids books california
     
Redwoods - kids books California  
Redwoods
Jason Chin

Discover the amazing coast redwoods of California – they live for more than 2,000 years, and are the tallest trees on the planet. Gorgeous illustrations, from seedling on the forest floor to treetops high in the sky, capture the wonder and majesty of the redwood forest. (Picture book)

 

     
The Redwood Forests
Lisa Bullard

Fun facts about the California redwoods – how redwoods grow (some don't grow from seeds, they spring from redwood stumps), how they can survive fires, plants and animals that live in the redwood forests. (Picture book)

 

 
The Redwood Forests
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