Grove of Old Trees

Effective Friday, September 10, 2021 the Grove of Old Trees parking area is closed to the public. There is no vehicle access to the Grove of Old Trees, including street parking. This temporary closure to vehicle access is due to increased fire danger and will last until the end of fire season in Sonoma County.  

LandPaths is currently working to organize occasional shuttles for community members that can’t access the Grove by foot or bicycle. These shuttles will most likely depart and return to Bayer Farm in Santa Rosa. We will announce more on that soon, so please check back. 
LandPaths does not make this decision lightly. Given the high fire danger over the next few months of fall, it’s essential that vehicle access to the Grove is limited on Fitzpatrick Lane in the case of evacuation or a need for emergency vehicle access.  
The Grove will still be open to walkers and bicyclists. 
Thank you for doing all that you can to help take care of the Grove!   

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. 

How to Get Involved

  • Participate in a stewardship workday where you’ll help clear and maintain trails, remove invasive species, and other tasks that help keep the Grove healthy and accessible.
  • Attend the yearly Friends of the Grove potluck. 
All photos of the Grove of Old Trees by Meg Cooper Photography

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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