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A New Place to Make Favorite Memories: Partners Rebuild Portola Ramada

Representatives mark the grand opening of the ramada last year in Portola Redwoods State Park
Representatives of Save the Redwoods League, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, Peninsula Open Space Trust, California State Parks Foundation, and California State Parks mark the grand opening of the ramada last year in Portola Redwoods State Park. Photo by Mike Kahn.

Home of some of the tallest and most extraordinary trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Portola Redwoods State Park provides visitors with a much-needed escape from life in nearby Silicon Valley.

Many visitors’ favorite meeting place was the old ramada, a wooden shelter with a roof and no walls. From 1943 until 2011, the structure served as a gathering place for campers, and as a venue for weddings and family reunions. The ramada was a special place with great sentimental value.

“On my first trip to Portola Redwoods in about 2006, we picnicked under the old ramada with relatives who were visiting from Connecticut,” said Andy Vought, Secretary of the League’s Board of Directors and a Director of the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation. “The weather was not the best, so we enjoyed the shelter.”

In 2014, California State Parks made the hard decision to demolish the structure, which was deteriorating beyond repair. Save the Redwoods League, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, Peninsula Open Space Trust, California State Parks Foundation, and California State Parks recognized the ramada as a valuable amenity. Together, they raised funds to build a replacement. Construction was completed last year. The new ramada stands in place of the original shelter, near the park’s visitor center and the Point and Circle campgrounds. It’s a reproduction of the original, which contained two rows of picnic tables.

Like the original structure, this new ramada will surely become a backdrop for countless good memories, as friends and loved ones gather to admire Portola’s majestic coast redwoods.

The ramada is available for drop-in picnicking. To reserve the ramada for a special event, please call 831-335-6324.

Plan your trip to Portola Redwoods using our new, free ExploreRedwoods.org tool.


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About Madeleine Turner

Madeleine Turner grew up near Los Angeles and holds a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz. When she isn't writing, she's reading or running under the redwoods.



The League and the parks are removing trees to open up growing space for the remaining trees

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Home of some of the tallest and most extraordinary trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Portola Redwoods State Park provides visitors with a much-needed escape from life in nearby Silicon Valley.

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