"In the 1870s, lumberman Colonel James Armstrong, a Union officer in the Civil War, realized that if not preserved, this gorgeous area of primeval redwoods would be destroyed by logging. He set aside the land as a natural park and botanical garden. Due to this early preservation, the 805-acre reserve contains the largest remaining first-growth coast redwoods in Sonoma County. It is also the only grove of first generation redwoods open to the public in the county. This ancient grove flourishes along Fife Creek in a cool and dark valley floor at 3,316 feet. Scattered among the stately redwoods are tanbark oak, California bay laurel, and bigleaf maple. The shady forest floor, highlighted by filtered sunlight, is carpeted with redwood sorrel, trillium, fairy bells, redwood orchid, mushrooms, lichens, and mosses. This hike strolls through the heart of the redwood cathedral under the forest canopy. The Armstrong Nature Trail and Icicle Tree Trail are self-guided nature trails with interpretive displays and a printed guide. The Discovery Trail is a Braille Trail for the visually impaired. Both trails are connected to the Pioneer Trail, leading from the visitor center to the large group picnic area."