Muir Woods Nature Exploration

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Amidst the busy street and active life in San Francisco, nature tripper can actually enjoy here communing with wildlife. Just 12 miles north, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a National Park Service called Muir Woods National Monument. It was named after naturalist John Muir by William Kent who bought this land together with his wife Elizabeth Thacher Kent and later donated to the federal government.

The monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest with 6 miles of trails. Along the Main Trail between the Cross Cut and Pinchot Tree, visitors are allowed to walk quietly on a boardwalk where it housed several wildlife creatures such as banana slugs, Sonoma chipmunks and Pacific salamander.

The monument is a day-use area only so there are no camping or lodging facilities. Picnicking, horseback riding, pets, smoking and foods are not allowed. Bicycles are only permitted on fire roads. Dipsea Race is one of the annual events in June held in the park, a footrace between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach. Following that later in June, the Double Dipsea and Quad Dipsea in November. Other activities led by a ranger are walks and discussions on different topics on the watershed, wildflowers and tide pools. Redwood Discovery: A Quest at Muir Woods is a free and fun activity for your children and the whole family to solve riddles and hunt for the treasure box.

Muir Woods National Monument is one of the 100 National Parks open to public free on the following days to come in 2012:

September 29              Public Lands Day

November 10-12          Veterans Day weekend

Other than the above mentioned holidays, you can still enjoy the park for an adult fee of $7 and always free for children.