Bay Area outdoors is outstanding, but few places provide a sense of wilderness. The Heritage Grove in Sam McDonald County Park is an exception. Visiting this first growth redwood tract feels remote despite being next to an accessible trailhead. Hiking the Redwoods at Heritage Grove & San McDonald County Park is highly recommended.
The Heritage Grove is one corner of a vast connected open space. Sam McDonald Park borders Pescadero Creek County Park, so hikers to Memorial County Park, Portola Redwoods State Park, Big Basin State Park, & Skyline Ridge Preserve MROSD. The Sempervirens Fund calls this interconnected set of parks & private lands the Great Park. The Great Park covers 138,000 acres of the Santa Cruz Mountains from the top of Skyline Drive to the Pacific Ocean. It ranges from Pescadero Creek in the North and to Wilder Ranch in the South. The area protects first & second growth redwoods, mixed forests, & coastline. The Heritage Grove and the San Mateo County Pescadero Creek adjacent Parks protect the Northeast corner. The San Mateo County Parks protects the Northeast section of the Great Park with Sam McDonald, Memorial, and Pescadero County Parks. Hiking in the area feels wild & primeval.
The trailhead is adjacent to Alpine Road. After a bridge crossing, the hiker approaches the Heritage Grove. The Heritage Grove trails lie within 0.5 miles of the trailhead.
A hiker has a choice – visit the lower part of the grove or the upper part of the grove. This is definitely a high class problem. The out and back lower flat lower area follows the creek.
The lower Heritage Grove Trail ends at collapsed bridge. Time to turn around.
First growth redwoods near the top of the grove.
The banana slug is deciding which direction to takeThe Heritage Grove connects with the Heritage Grove Trail to the main Sam McDonald County Park Trail head. The trails also connect to the Hikers Hut, Pescadero County Park, and many more Santa Cruz Mountain parks like Portola Redwoods, Big Basin, or Skyline.