Armstrong Woods State Park in Sonoma County, CA

By Rachel Puryear

If you’re not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, it basically refers to nine counties (including the City and County of San Francisco), that make up the metro area.

There are a few main regions of the metro area: There’s “the City” (San Francisco), the South Bay (south of San Francisco, stretching down to south of the Silicon Valley), the East Bay (east of San Francisco, going out almost to the Central Valley), and the North Bay (north of San Francisco, extending through much of California’s world-famous wine country).

There’s no West Bay, by the way – that would be in the ocean.

In the far reaches of the North Bay, within Sonoma County, you will find a delightful state park known as Armstrong Woods. It was closed for a while due to wildfires in the area, but has recently reopened. As Fall is approaching, it’s a great time of year to visit.

Armstrong Woods, path through the forest. By Tyke Jones.

Armstrong Woods has plenty of majestic redwood trees, abundant plant life, and serene walking trails. It feels like you’re inside an enchanted forest there.

Due to the presence of a lot of moisture in many parts of the woods, you can see a lot of cool fungi.

Armstrong Woods, Hygrocybe punicea mushroom with orange top.

And lots of beautiful flowers.

Armstrong Woods, Oxalis oregana – small purple flowers.

To get something to eat, have some wine, pick up other essentials, or find campgrounds and lodging, visit the charming, rustic, laid-back nearby town of Guerneville. Locals here are pretty friendly.

Bridge in Guerneville, California.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to great state parks, and also great small towns. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you have not done so already. xoxo

Check out my other blog, too – Free Range Life, at It’s about personal finance, freelancing and remote work, current events and political commentary, and traveling and the RV life.

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