Grove of Old Trees

This 48-acre sanctuary is a hidden gem in the hills west of Occidental. The Grove is a healthy, old-growth stand of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the trees on easy trails, some suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. The Grove of Old Trees is the first and now one of only two privately owned preserves in Sonoma County that is publicly accessible and free to all. 

The Grove has experienced a surge of visitors during Covid 19 due to an increased desire to be outdoors for mental and physical health. LandPaths urges you, on your visit, to be a kind neighbor to this community that celebrates sharing this remarkable place with you. 

Thank you for doing all you can to help take care of the Grove! 

  • Drive safely: Driving slowly and following the speed limit along Fitzpatrick Lane, the road that leads to the Grove, is essential for everyone’s safety.  
  • Park only in the designated parking area: If the Grove parking lot is full, please return at another time.
  • Pull over to allow other cars to pass: Fitzpatrick Lane is largely a single-lane road. When you visit the Grove, please pull over when necessary to allow other cars to pass.  
  • Leave no trace: Please pack out anything that you bring into the Grove, respect any wildlife that you encounter, and leave behind things of nature that you find. We are all stewards of the Grove. 
  • Prepare ahead of time: There are NO bathroom facilities at the Grove of Old Trees. Please plan accordingly.

Covid-19 Update

Though the Grove is currently open to the public, all visitors must wear a mask at all times when passing or interacting with someone who is not in your household. Please practice at least six-feet of physical distancing with non-household members. No professional group photography shoots, no group events, or professional dog-walking allowed. There are no bathroom facilities at the Grove and nowhere to wash your hands. Make sure to bring your own hand sanitizer and prepare accordingly. Thank you for joining in the collective spirit of public health safety for all!

How to Get Involved

You are warmly invited to join LandPaths at Grove of Old Trees. 

  • Explore the Grove on your own. Open to the public for walking and picnicking 7 days a week, year-round, dawn to dusk. Free w/ parking adjacent to the preserve. 
  • Participate in a stewardship workday where you’ll help clear and maintain trails, remove invasive species, and other tasks. 
  • Attend the yearly Friends of the Grove potluck. 

History

The Grove of Old Trees is located on the original homeland of the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok people. For years, the Grove of Old Trees was owned by two families, the Colemans and the Van Alstynes. The families operated sawmills in the area, but reserved the redwoods in the Grove as a family gathering place.

Unfortunately, in the 1990s the grand redwoods were slated to be cut down as part of a Timber Harvest Plan. You can actually see blue stripes painted on certain trees that were in line to be harvested.

A group of county residents known as Friends of the Grove launched the long campaign to protect the remnant stands of redwoods. Thanks to the tireless work of neighbors and environmental activists, the blue stripes are a reminder of a fate averted. 

LandPaths former board member Caryl Hart was also instrumental in the final successful push to save the Grove of Old Trees.

In 2000, LandPaths purchased Grove of Old Trees with the assistance of Sonoma County Ag + Open Space, Save The Redwoods League, California Coastal Conservancy, and private individuals. Today, Sonoma Ag + Open Space holds a Forever Wild conservation easement on the property, which mandates a zero take of the trees. 

The property will stand forever as a publicly accessible forest preserve, a place for research, respite, and environmental education. We cherish this living remnant of the redwood forests that once covered much of the Northern California coast.

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