We decided to take advantage of the National Parks Day last weekend and headed to Muir Woods, beautiful redwood forest in Marin County. On National Parks day, entry to parks is free making it even more attractive :).
When we drove past the Golden Gate Bridge, we saw signs stating that parking at Muir Woods is full, and advising us to use the the shuttle service. So we parked at the Pohone Street Park and Ride ($5/adult roundtrip fare) and took the 66 Shuttle to the Muir Wood entrance, saving us from parking worries later on (people were parked more than a mile away from the park entrance!).
Once we reached we had a quick snack outside and started to walk. It was quite crowded on the main path on either side of the bridges so we chose to walk on the Hillside trail. A little elevated, this trail is less crowded, and offers a inside view of this magnificent forest. Many of the trees here are hundreds of years old, hundreds of feet high - quite an awesome sight of the tallest living things in the world.
We heard lots of birds but didn't spot any, but we did see a banana slug which was the highlight of the day for the 5 y.o. - he has seen plenty of Redwoods now, but not too many banana slugs!
Some suggestions for families with younger kids:
- Take the shuttle - I believe it only runs on weekends but the parking lot is small, and you might have to walk a fair bit before you even get to the park.
- There are plenty of restrooms, but none once you head into the park itself.
- There is a small cafe inside the park for empty tummies.
- It is always cool under the trees, carry a jacket even if it is hot when you leave home!