• Visitors from all over the world come to explore the tranquility, beauty, and nature sounds of Muir Woods National Monument.

    Muir Woods

    National Monument California

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  • The Dipsea Footbridge is Out!

    The Dipsea Footbridge is out until further notice. Take the Deer Park Fire Road to connect with the Dipsea Trail at Muir Woods. See map of Muir Woods and Vicinity. Taking the extra steps protects you and endangered coho salmon. Do not cross Redwood Creek. More »

  • Muir Beach is OPEN

    Muir Beach is open to the public every day, including holidays at 9 AM and closes one hour after sunset. More »

Ferns

Horsetail Fern

Horsetail ferns popping up amongst the redwood sorrel are just one example of the many ferns found in this old-growth forest.

NPS Photo

The bright green fronds you see peeking out of the forest floor at Muir Woods are most likely ferns. The plants referred to as “ferns and fern allies” are plants that have vascular tissue (xylem and phloem for conducting water and sugars), but do not produce fruits and seeds. Muir Woods is host to 13 species of ferns from six different fern families. Other seedless vascular plants include horsetails and club mosses.

The reason that ferns do not produce seeds like most of the plants we know is that they are actually much older. Their reproductive strategy of producing spores instead of fruits has served them just fine since before the time of the dinosaurs! Ferns have been around for more than 300 million years, and have a worldwide distribution on all continents except Antarctica and most islands. Here at Muir Woods watch for lady, sword, maiden hair, and gold back ferns to name a few. These ancient plants have something to tell us about permanence and adaptations that perhaps even the old growth redwood trees cannot.

Did You Know?

United Nations in Muir Woods National Monument in 1945

Muir Woods’ Cathedral Grove hosted the first United Nations conference May 19, 1945. Present were delegates from 48 nations to establish a lasting peace following the Second World War. More...