Roy's Redwoods is an out-of-the-way nature preserve in San Geronimo Valley and frequent school trip for kids. It is a unique area with large Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens)surrounding a large, gently sloping meadow.
The meadow allows you to see some of these huge trees in their entirety from a distance. At some point, a fire swept through the grove and hollowed out some of the trees leaving blackened caverns in their middle. These hollowed-out trees form tunnels and caves throughout the forest, creating a wonderful place for kids and adults to explore and play.
The San Geronimo school often uses the meadow and redwood grove as an outdoor class room. In the early 1980s, George Lucas filmed portions of the Ewok battle scene for Return of The Jedi in the grove.
We recommend that you spend some time adventuring around in the grove before heading up the trail that circles the preserve. There are many small trails within the grove, and it might feel like you are lost, but all the paths seem to end up back at the main path around the edge of the park.
After that, we recommend that you head up and out of the grove to the north and follow the main trail until you reach the first main trail junction. At this junction the David Hansen Trail leads to the top of a hill at the center of the park. It is a nice hike, but there is no view. Across the main trail from the David Hansen Trail is a small unsigned trail that heads straight up the open grassland to a knoll along a ridge at the back of the park. At the top of the knoll is an old ring of rocks with a grassy center. We don't know if the ring is natural or human-made, but it feels like a ceremonial place. And you get a nice view looking east and west across San Geronimo Valley.
If you want to take a longer hike you can continue past the junction to David Hansen Trail and go down into a wooded valley. The wooded valley is a beautiful riparian setting with a small stream and lots of wildlife. Eventually the trail continues into the grasslands to circle back around behind the San Geronimo Golf Course. It ends at the lower edge of the redwoods and the meadow. The portion of the hike along the golf course is not as interesting and is busy near the course and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. We preferred to double back the way we came.
See the book "Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County" for more details. Click here to go the Marin Trails website, where you can find more information about the book.