Pygmy Forest North Trail–Central Trail Loop Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Salt Point State Park is known for its rocky promontories and dramatic coastline. The interior of the park, however, where the majority of the acreage lies, offers beautiful trails as well. The sloping coastal landscape is covered with a dense forest of redwoods, Douglas fir, tanbark oak, bishop pine, madrone, manzanita, trillium, ferns, and rhododendrons. Fog lifts from the pounding surf below, which often settles quietly along the forest floor. Hikes 17–19 explore the wooded interior of the park. This area was actively logged and quarried in the mid-1800s. The land transitioned to ranchland after the 1870s. It is now covered with second-growth forests. This hike forms a loop up the coastal slope, beginning from Woodside Campground, just off Highway 1. The route follows old logging roads along two creek drainages. At the upper end of the loop is a pygmy forest. The trees grow in highly acidic, nutrient- deficient soil with a shallow hardpan surface, preventing tree roots and water to penetrate. The result is a rare grove of trees with stunted versions of bishop pines, Mendocino cypress, and coastal redwoods."