Land of Medicine Buddha
Walks & Retreat Center in Soquel, CA
The 108 acre Land of Medicine Buddha Retreat Center in Soquel is a great place to go for quiet walks in the redwoods. It is easy to reach and day visitors are welcome (as well as their dogs on leash in the Center but not in all parts of the adjacent State Park).
The shortest trail is the 8-Verses Pilgrimage Trail which starts at a sunny meadow and meanders through the redwood forest for 15-20 minutes. On the 8-Verses Loop are eight stops, each with a bench and a beautiful sign containing a Buddhist verse with commentary to ponder. You can also take a longer 2-mile loop trail or a 6-mile loop trail both of which enter the adjacent 10,000 acre Forest of Nisen Marks State Park.
On the main campus is a little bookstore where you can pick up a free trail map and ask questions. Scattered around the area are a variety of Buddhas, prayer wheels, gongs and prayer flags.
This is a Dharma Buddha Center where you can rent a reasonably priced room, cabin or yurt (a portable round tent used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia) for the night if you wish. The facilities include a dining hall, a meditation and yoga room, and swimming pool. Also available are formal classes and retreats.