Home to what was once the tallest known tree in the world, Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve is a magical grove nestled in a serene valley 10 miles as the crow flies from Ukiah in Mendocino County. Save the Redwoods League has a long history of protecting this special place and connecting people with its cathedral-like ancient redwoods. Since 1947, the League has expanded the reserve to 2,743 acres and partnered with California State Parks to create an accessible and inspiring park experience here.
The League is expanding its vision for Montgomery Woods by partnering with California State Parks to make major improvements to the reserve’s ecological condition and visitor experience. The redesign will simultaneously provide an immersive experience for visitors while restoring and better protecting the grove’s redwood root systems and unique water features. Two miles of loop trails will be rerouted and improved to the benefit of visitors and sensitive resources alike, and new gathering areas will be established along with comprehensive interpretive exhibits to offer inclusive experiences in the reserve.
This project is part of the Montgomery Woods Initiative — a big vision to expand protection around Montgomery Woods and improve access to this spectacular old-growth grove. Related projects include the August 2022 fee acquisition of the 453-acre Atkins Place property, which will ultimately be added to the reserve, and an opportunity to acquire a conservation easement on the 3,862-acre Weger Ranch property. The latter would include a fee acquisition of Rocky Ridge, an 80-acre parcel that the League would donate via a direct deed from the owners to California State Parks as an addition to Montgomery Woods. The Rocky Ridge acquisition would provide an opportunity to expand the reserve’s trail network to a ridge overlooking the grove’s old-growth canopy and the surrounding landscape.
Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks are engaging local Indigenous communities and historically underrepresented communities in project development and to facilitate visitation to the reserve.
The estimated total cost of the project is $4 million, and the League is currently raising $2 million in private donations for the entire project. The work is expected to be completed in stages through 2025.
Protection of Montgomery Woods was sparked by the prolific botanist Ynes Mexia. An early member of Save the Redwoods League, she wrote to the League in 1919 in hopes they would protect this place from logging. League Secretary Newton Drury requested an investigation of the area, leading to an end to tree cutting by 1920. The reserve was established in 1945.
Together with the protection of Atkins Place, the Montgomery Woods Park Project contributes to the League’s centennial vision to protect and restore redwood forests and connect all people with the redwoods through inspiring parks experiences.
Learn more about Montgomery Woods below.
- October 25, 2022 — Save the Redwoods League secures opportunity to protect 3,862-acre Weger Ranch in Mendocino County through conservation easement.
- September 27, 2022 — Save the Redwoods League launches Montgomery Woods Initiative with purchase of 453 acres of redwood forest and groundbreaking on vital park improvements
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Tags: Atkins Place, Land Project, Montgomery Woods Initiative, Montgomery Woods Park Project, Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve, park expansion, park improvements, public access, renovations, Weger Ranch