I have always felt something special when close to redwood groves: a quiet and stillness, serenity and peace. These qualities vary in intensity, from mild to quite powerful. Some redwood groves have no apparent effect, and a select few are amazing, and entrancing.
Butano State Park (near Pescadero, CA) has campgrounds, one for vehicles and the other, just below, for outdoor camping. These are situated on a hillside that is home to a grove of redwood trees, and the whole area is permeated with a serenity of very high quality, even spiritual in nature. The mind becomes focused and clear, precise and acute; there is a gentleness and sweetness here. Another small (on a hillside) grove is found by hiking up and through the outdoor campground on a trail that leads to “goathill trail”; it is about 75 meters from the campgrounds. The photo is this site, and GPS coördinates are: N37-12-600 W122-19-620 accur. within 50ft; elevation 460ft. The size of the site is several thousand square meters and thus the GPS accuracy is not too important, and meant to be a general reference to the location. The qualities here are the same as noted above. It is found at the intersection of several trails, close to several charred redwoods that might be 500 years of age, and trees up to 200 ft tall.
Butano State Park is beautiful and enchanting, especially in the late spring and early summer. It has many hiking trails, from 1km to 30 or more (into Big Basin), including a remote backpack campground. The main campgrounds are closed in the winter, and might need reservations in the summer. There are some picnic tables and a small rangers station with info. A walk along the central paved road is delightful, thru a steep canyon with creek views of lush vegetation, moss-covered tress, and very tall redwoods.
There are many religious retreats in the Santa Cruz mountains, especially in the redwood forests and groves of Scotts Valley, Felton, and Ben Lomond – close to the San Lorenzo river. I suspect that many people have felt this magical quality of the redwoods, to enhance serenity and spiritual focus of mind.
(c) Paul C Adams 2013