Redwood Memories

Our staff shares their fondest memories of being in the tall trees

Catherine Elliott

senior manager of land protection

One of my favorite recent memories was walking up the trail along Cascade Creek in the rain with Coastal Conservancy staff in December. All along our walk, rough-skinned newts crossed the trail, to get to the water or move back up slope. We started counting the newts, out of excitement and to point them out to the people walking behind us so they wouldn’t step on the newts (they can be hard to see since their back is brown, the color of dirt). Our group called out 1, 2, 3, and on up to more than 50. We don’t tend to see newts on the move when it’s dry so this was a special treat and was well worth getting a little wet.
California newt, by John Wright
California newt, by John Wright

Anthony Castaños

land stewardship manager

My favorite redwood grove is along Cathedral Trees Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes that’s also very accessible. The 2,000-year-old redwoods are definitely worth the trip. If you get there on a breezy day, you can hear the movement of the trees as they sway in the wind. When our president Sam Hodder first started at the League, we went on our first hike together there. This is the type of place where time stands still, so we lost track of it. Finally, we realized we were going to be late to our meeting with California State Parks, so we had to sprint to the visitor center. No offense to our great partners CSP, but it’s easy to forget about meetings when you’re in a grove like that. Had we been late, I think they would have understood.

Deborah Zierten

education & interpretation manager

One of my favorite parks I have a chance to visit with school groups is Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve near Half Moon Bay. As you walk the trails you hear the rush of the water from the stream that runs through the preserve and feel the cool fog on your face. You see the impact of the logging industry in this forest with stumps on either side of the trail but they are overshadowed by the enormous redwoods that have grown up next to them. These trees are massive and remind us of the forests’ resilience and strength 150 years after they were first impacted. When you get a chance to visit the preserve make sure to count the banana slugs along the trail, they always put a huge smile on my face.
Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve, by Keppet
Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve, by Keppet


Becky Bremser

director of land protection

The first time I ever saw a California newt was about this time of year and in the redwoods. It was the tiniest little guy and it was bright orange! At first, I thought it was a rubber toy. I was so excited and took the time to watch for a very long time. I was thinking how lucky I was to see this one. And then I looked up, and it turns out there were tons all around! There had to be at least a hundred. Here I was so fixated on this one little creature and never even noticed all the others around me.

Adrianna Andreucci

conservation programs associate

My favorite redwood park would have to be Humboldt Redwoods State Park.I grew up visiting it every summer as a child and have extremely fond memories of hiking and biking there with my dad. We camped nearby in Myers Flat at the Giant Redwoods RV Camp and went into the park each day for a different activity.
League Conservation Programs Associate, Adrianna Andreucci​, visits Humboldt Redwoods State Park as a child.
League Conservation Programs Associate, Adrianna Andreucci​, visits Humboldt Redwoods State Park as a child.

Jen Charney

senior manager of marketing communications

In Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, I remember staring in disbelief at the giant ancient redwoods, and I recall the incredible quiet of the forest, except for the buzzy whistles of the varied thrushes.
League staffer Jen Charney at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
League staffer Jen Charney at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

About the author

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish.

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