Best (Uncrowded) Redwood Forest - 2003
Redwood Regional Park
Compared to its wildly popular cousin, Muir Woods, this stately grove of 150-year-old redwoods -- just over the ridge from Skyline Drive -- is relatively unknown, which translates into big-time tranquillity for nature lovers. (It's actually possible to stand still along the Stream Trail and hear nothing but the whisper of the breeze and the gurgling of Redwood Creek.) The meandering creek, along which many of the namesake trees are found, is of interest for a reason other than scenic beauty. It was in San Leandro Creek, of which Redwood Creek is a tributary, that rainbow trout were first identified as a distinct species. Park is open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise posted. Parking is $4 per vehicle. If you plan to walk Fido, there's a $1 fee.