Sunday, July 2, 2006

7/2/06 Muir Woods National Monument

(Muir Woods NM entrance
Muir Woods 門口)

(Cross section of a redwood near entrance

(On the bridge connecting the paved walkways)

Muir Woods National Monument 是保有加州沿岸一帶古老紅木森林的另一個國家公園。另一個Redwood National and State Parks 在之前的旅行當中去過也在介紹過。十九世紀美國伐木業者盛行之後,大量砍伐加州的紅木樹,使得森林的面積大量變小。當初在舊金山北邊一區,因為重型器具較 難以進入山谷,暫時得以倖免。加州當地參議員William Kent意識到保護這片森林的重要性,便自己和他太太,跟附近的自水公司將611英畝的森林地給買下來。事後Sausalito的自來水公司想建水壩,將 這片山谷整個淹掉,準備要跟Kent打官司。事不宜遲,Kent便將這片地轉交給聯邦政府,1908年大羅斯福總統的命令下正式成立了Muir Woods National Monument,順利保住了這片紅木森林,也供後世的人可永遠享用。

由於Muir Woods離舊金山過金門大橋只需不到一小時,所以成為附近居民熱門的登山郊遊景點。如果是週末去的話,公園提供的兩個停車場基本上一定會爆滿,還得繼續 沿路找路邊沒樹蔭的停車位。如果是夏天的,健行完還要面對一個活生生的烤箱,有時會真的吃不消。有時park ranger會建議遊客停好車,再乘坐county的公車進公園,但畢竟發車時間常常容易延誤,使得大家最後還是會寧願自行開進來。

過 查票的大門口之後,是一個完全鋪好的木頭走道,還可讓坐輪椅的人通行,也難怪那麼多人會想來。這真是一個不用花太多勞力也能來洗森林浴的地方。不過,這木 板走道實在是一點挑戰性也沒有。因此,大伙在第一個可以右轉的Ocean View Trail岔路就轉掉了,開始爬坡去。

別 被這個Ocean View Trail的名字所騙,因為可是一點view也沒。之後我們到Lost Trail左轉,遇到Fern Creek再左轉,然後再接回木板步道,繞完一大圈。整段有上坡有下坡,也算有達成健行的目的。只是,Lost Trail上有公園的工作人員所鋪的木頭階梯條。而我們走這個loop的方向時,走到Lost Trail時剛好是下坡。下山時走那麼多階梯,事實上對膝蓋相當地傷。也因為這樣,我們接到Fern Creek時,腿都不停地在抖。

海 岸紅木樹是相當神奇的植物。不僅它的樹皮防火防蟲,而且在加州那麼乾燥的氣候裡,它們每天都只靠著海邊飄來的霧氣中的水份過活。我也算是灣區裡貪圖著不用 開好幾個小時的車,卻能享受到國家公園等級管理的紅木森林。也希望這些百年千年的神木們,在歷經那麼多的考驗之後,能夠繼續不折損於人類的利刃之下~~

Muir Woods National Monument is a national monument just north of the Marin Headlands.  Technically belonging to part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it was established much earlier in 1908.  President Theodore Roosevelt declared this national monument after congressman  William Kent purchased a remaining area of redwood forests and donated the land to the federal government, to protect it from being cut down by the logging industry.

Being north of San Francisco and a relatively short drive, it is naturally one of the most popular getaway places for residents living near San Francisco.  On weekends, the park is so packed with people that finding parking can be nightmarish.  The parking lots can overflow that you may need to drive down close to half a mile to park on the side of the road.  With no shade, the summers can certainly mean a very hot and toasty car when you return from your hike - one of the last things you want.

Just past the entrance is a paved wooden walkway.  The handicap accessibility adds even more attractiveness to the already popular park.  To really get some workout, we decided to take a longer hike off the main walkway.  We ended up doing the Ocean View Trail - Lost Trail - Fern Creek Trail - Main Paved Walkway loop, which with its elevation changes, was just the right level and time for a crowd of 7 like ours.  Word of advice though, I would recommend doing the loop backwards, because the Lost Trail has wooden steps laid out in the soil, and hiking down steps is taxing on the knees.  We literally had to take a break after reaching the level ground again because our knees couldn't stop shaking.....

Official Website:
Muir Woods National Monument

No comments:

Post a Comment