Travel the World with CSPF

As you know, we at CSPF love our California state parks. And while we are experts on the amazing sites California has to offer, we also believe the rest of the world is worth exploring, too. That is why we have partnered with Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to provide you access to some amazing travel tours that will take you around the world.

These UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) tours go to locations like Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, Tanzania, Holland, Spain, France, Alaska and China.  Each tour offers unique educational, cultural and historical experiences that we think you will really love.

View our available tours now.

Now you can take the trip of a lifetime, and help CSPF at the same time. For everyone who books a trip and mentions CSPF at booking, our organization receives a percentage of the proceeds. You’ll also receive a special CSPF Travel Kit. It’s a new, unique way to help support our work for state parks.

Where in the world would you like to travel?

Guest Post: Hiking Big Basin Redwoods

A guest post BY EMILY SIEGENTHALER

Emily Siegenthaler is the senior member services assistant in the California State Parks Foundation’s San Francisco office. Originally from Boston, Emily has loved living among the redwood trees in California. This is her recent account of a hike through Big Basin Redwoods State Park:

When I first moved to California in 2009 I lived in Santa Cruz, and visiting the redwoods there was one of my favorite activities. So when a friend suggested we go hike Big Basin a couple weeks ago, I was thrilled—there is nothing quite as breathtaking as being in the presence of these extraordinary, ancient giants.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California’s oldest state park, it was established in 1902. In fact, starting with the Sempervirens Club in 1900, local citizens have spent years fighting to preserve its beauty, and their efforts over the decades have paid off! It is home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, and the park consists of over 18,000 acres of old growth and recovering redwood forest.

My friend and I decided to take in as much of the park as we could in an afternoon, choosing a hike to Berry Creek Falls which allows explorers to experience the wide range of habitats represented in Big Basin. There are multiple routes hikers may take to reach the falls depending on desired difficulty. We opted to take the Sunset Trail out and the Skyline to the Sea Trail back, which is the most strenuous and totals at approximately 11 miles. The hike takes 4-6 hours and, of course, what makes this hike worth it are the four waterfalls you witness along the way: Cascade Falls, the Golden, Silver Falls, and Berry Creek Falls. On our route, Berry Creek Falls were that last, lower falls, and they are the largest.

Berry Creek Waterfall

The Sunset Trail is filled with redwoods and opens up into a small, rolling valley before you reach the falls—lovely views, and a nice place to stop and take a breather. The soft sandstone has also been etched upon by the hundreds of people who have come to enjoy Big Basin, one message eroding away into the next. On the return, the Skyline to the Sea Trail threads its way through the park along Waddell Creek to the beach and adjacent Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve, a freshwater marsh. This nice, hilly (but shady!) route back is dotted with redwoods, creek beds, bridges, and of course, banana slugs.

I highly recommend Big Basin Redwoods State Park to anyone looking to hike amongst some of the oldest treasures of California. And with 80 miles of trails to choose from, you’re bound to find a hike that is exhilarating and perfect for you!