Grove of Old Trees

Grove of Old Trees is currently closed-to-the-public due to the County Health Officer’s shelter-in-place orders. Please click here to read the entire update on LandPaths Preserves and Partner Properties.

Our 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) On a clear day you see the rolling hills of Marin, Point Reye and beyond to the Pacific Ocean.  

Enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the trees on easy trails, some suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Footsteps are muffled by trails of soft bed of needles and wood chips, and voices are stilled in the presence of the forest’s majestic, awe-inspiring beauty.

Grove of Old Trees is the only privately owned preserve in Sonoma County that is publicly accessible and free to all. 

Find Grove of Old Trees:
17599 Fitzpatrick Ln, Occidental, CA 95465

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

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 used the Grove as a family gathering place, which protected the redwoods from being logged. 

This changed in the 1990s, when the trees were approved to be cut down as part of a Timber Harvest Plan. You can actually see blue stripes painted on select trees to this day. Made by a forester, they indicate which trees were to be cut down. 

A group of county residents known as Friends of the Grove pioneered the long campaign to save this 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. 

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 many generous 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 publically 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.

Participate

Stewardship Workday

Tuesday, February 8; 9am to 1pm

Lend a hand to ensure that this unique wild space continues to be a healthy and flourishing habitat for our native plants and animals. For the next few workdays we will be focused on removing California blackberry which is replacing native grass in the meadows. The work will involve hand clipping and raking of blackberry canes. There may be poison oak in these areas as well, so long pants and sleeves are recommended.

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