Muir Woods, A Majestic Spiritual Journey Near San Francisco

Growing up in San Francisco allows you to immerse yourself in many magnificent urban experiences from great shopping to riding on cable cars, walking among massive sky scrapers, dining at the finest restaurants and attending professional sports. article, SkyscraperPage Forum photo credit

That’s just the beginning.

What sometimes gets lost in this fantastic experience in city wonderland is that there are also very special natural wonders close by.

Muir Woods is one of them. article,Public Domain wikimedia

Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 12 miles north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres (224 ha), of which 240 acres (97 ha) are old growth coast redwood forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you walk through Muir Woods, for many, it is a mystical and enchanting spiritual journey.

There are few places like it on earth.

If you travel to San Francisco to attend events including female grappling or enjoying a mixed wrestling session, trust us, the excursion to Muir Woods in well worth it.

California's Muir Woods - Home to Titans article, By Arminnius - Own work wikimedia

By Kathy Manney 

The first rays of early morning sun filtered through the trees at Muir Woods National Monument and the serenity and quiet captivates. Sometimes the quietest moments can speak volumes. So it is here on the north bank of San Francisco Bay.

In a narrow length of California's northern coast grow some of the largest living objects in the world, they are the Giant Redwood and they are among California's most scenic attractions. It is Northern California's characteristic coastal climate of fog and rain that helps these enormous trees grow to nearly 400 feet and why they are called "Titans."

The overhead space in the Redwoods is full. In some places the trees tower overhead so high the tallest cannot even be seen from the ground. Many Redwoods top out at 200 feet tall and are considered the "Mt. Everest of all living things." Their mortality is amazingly long. Because Redwoods have few natural enemies and they are stubborn to adversity, a millennium or two is not an unusual life span.

Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County was established in 1907 on land donated to the United States government in honor of John Muir (1838-1914), naturalist, writer, conservationist, and founder of the Sierra Club. article, By User Jiang - Own work, Public Domain wikimedia

The park named in his honor is a place where visitors can come to escape and enjoy a pleasant walk among these immense trees. There are small silhouette spotted bridges crossing a meandering creek and paved walking trails on either side of the water. In the shadows of the trees grow a variety of plants that don't require much sunlight, such as the western hemlock that sprout out of fallen logs or decaying trunks and the tan oak, whose acorns germinate in the forest duff.

Surprisingly, Redwood cones are small, almost paper like, not hard and woody as you think of Pinecones. Redwood trees are highly disease and fire resistant, their seeds depend on fires to break them open so they can begin to germinate.

Redwoods also germinate by sprouting from dormant buds coming from burl growths. Their seed bearing age begins at about 20 years when the tree is exposed to some sunlight.

Before the last Ice Age Sequoia Trees and Giant Redwoods which are cousins covered a larger segment of the earth, but the groves were gradually pushed toward what is now the Pacific Ocean where the temperate climate limited the ice coverage.

John Muir, America's most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist and has been called "The Father of our National Parks." In 1988, with the backing of the U.S. Congress, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April 21 "John Muir Day."

For an enduring pleasurable memory - come visit Muir Woods and the California Redwoods. An extraordinary experience awaits you. The trails in Muir Woods National Monument are both wheelchair accessible and child stroller friendly. End.

Kathy Manney is a nationally recognized author of lifestyle and travel articles and travel columnist for a monthly regional newspaper.

Ms. Manney enjoys traveling to new and interesting places and her "must see before I die" travel adventures continue, each filled with enthusiasm.

Kathy had significant life experience living abroad: study tours, culture classes and participating in Department of Defense volunteer subculture work in Taiwan and the Philippines.

Kathy is open to freelance work in the fields of non-fiction writing and editing.

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