A working forest that includes a 1,000-year-old, 250-foot tall Great White Redwood
HIGHLIGHTS: Situated near the hamlet of Corralitos and managed by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, the 402-acre Byrne-Milliron Forest offers excellent hiking on uncrowded trails, sweeping views of the Pajaro Valley and Monterey Bay, and a chance to see a working forest predicated on sustainable principles.
ACTIVITIES: Byrne-Milliron’s primary attraction is hiking. The park is not heavily visited, and peace and solitude are almost guaranteed. This is also one of the few public places in the county where it is legal to run dogs off-leash (but under voice control), so a visit to the forest is as uplifting for canines as human beings. Good views of the Pajaro Valley are afforded on some of the trails. Mountain biking is not allowed. The forest offers a picnic area.
VISITOR CENTER: No visitor center is available.
CAMPGROUNDS: Camping is not allowed. Because of one-way logging roads , driving your RV to the forest is not recommended.
TRAILS: There are about 10 miles of trails in the forest, with two primary routes: The 2.5-mile Byrne Trail and the 3-mile Great White Loop. Both offer good interaction with the redwood forest, are easily negotiated, but are moderately steep.
MUST-SEE UNIQUE FEATURE OR SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT: The late Jeff Helmer, a steward of Byrne-Milliron for many years, distributed various wooden sculptures around the forest; regular visitors love them.
HIDDEN GEM: The Great White Redwood is a majestic ancient tree that has unusually pale bark due to sun bleaching. Access to the tree can be difficult during the winter months. From the parking lot, take the Byrne Trail west, then continue west on the Milliron Trail to the Great White Loop. Round trip is about 3 miles. You can find the redwood using the trail map.
FEATURES ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: The parking lot and restroom are accessible. Most trails are wide enough for wheelchairs, but steepness in some places can be an issue.
DOGS: Allowed off-leash if under voice control.
ENTRANCE FEE: No entrance fees are charged.
SPECIAL EVENTS: The Land Trust will arrange group tours, and various events are scheduled throughout the year. Go to http://www.landtrustsantacruz.org/events/ for updates.
INFORMATION: Go to the forest’s webpage, or call 831-429-6116.
PLACES TO EAT AND STAY: There are a few restaurants in Corralitos. Santa Cruz and Watsonville support numerous hotels and eateries.
EAT: Pick up some tasty bites at Aptos St. BBQ (external link).
Katie Veni, former League staffer, recommends Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant (external link) in Aptos.
STOP: If you have time, hit the beach! Manresa State Beach offers a gorgeous day in the sun without the crowds.
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Acres Protected by the League: none
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