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A cool hike in the Cowell Redwoods, near Santa Cruz.

A cool hike in the Cowell redwoods, near Santa Cruz

A January hike in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park can be refreshing after the holidays. Rain turns grasses and moss green again, and the air is clear. You can stroll in silence amid towering trees on the Redwood Loop Trail.

If you come on a weekend, stop by the new nature center (open 10 to 4 Saturdays and Sundays). Inside are animal displays and panels showing native plants and the history of logging in the area.

The .8-mile, self-guided Redwood Loop nature trail (brochure 15 cents) begins outside the center; it shows you coast redwoods up to 285 feet tall, a fire-damaged tree whose hollow base is gradually being filled in by living bark, and circles of younger trees growing from a root crown.

Park entrance for the Redwood Loop Trail is 1 mile south of Felton on State Highway 9. Day-use fee is $2.

Nearby residents who enjoy natural history can join docent classes beginning January 19. You'll be trained to lead walks and develop programs for eight parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Write to Pat Garske, Santa Cruz Mountains Natural History Association, 101 N. Big Trees Road, Felton 95018, or telephone (408) 335-7077.

Photo: Filtering through redwoods at Henry Cowell, winter sunshine takes the chill off morning hikers
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Title Annotation:Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Date:Jan 1, 1985
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