The Redwoods of Muir in San Francisco
The Muir Woods in San Francisco represent some of the oldest forest formations in the world. Redwood and sequoia trees were present all throughout the United States, but overtime the population shrank to occupy a small belt between California and Oregon. This was before the logging industry came to California.
There were roughly 2-million square acres of redwood forests occupying that narrow strip, but most of those acres had been torn down by the 20th century. What was left was mostly inaccessible land, and that’s what Congressman William Kent noticed just before he made a $45,000 purchase of 611 acres of land in that territory.
In 1907, Kent went up against a Sausalito water company that wanted to dam Redwood Creek and was prepared to invoke eminent domain to do so. In response, Kent decided to donate that land to the federal government. Roosevelt turned a portion of that into a national park reserve, and on Kent’s urging named it after John Muir. Muir’s contributions had helped to found the national park system, so Kent felt it was an appropriate tribute and Roosevelt responded to him by writing “By George you’re right!”
The woods are positioned close enough to the Pacific Ocean that they are often blanketed by a cloud of fog. The Redwoods get water from that moisture, and the generally moist environment contributes to healthy plant growth. The space is usually cool, so you’ll want to bring a jacket. It’s a serene and beautiful place to spend the day.