About the Ranch
The Cookson Family first appeared on the Ranch property in 1934, when Oliver Cookson purchased the property to raise his family on. Since that day, the property has hosted church camps, family reunions, school trips, and weddings, making the Ranch the perfect location for your event. Cookson Ranch is the ideal place to enjoy the rustic quiet of the mountains and nearby Redwood Creek. The property is located in Redwood Valley, off of Highway 299, only 30 minutes from Blue Lake.
Cookson Ranch can accommodate groups of any size for day use, up to the maximum of 150 people per night, as well as weekends or week-long adventures. There are numerous places to pitch your own tent or climb into one of the ten tents provided on the main field. A large cookhouse provides ample space for feeding large groups, as well as flexibility and simplicity for smaller groups.
Redwood Creek runs directly along the property, the perfect spot for swimming and/or relaxing.
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Cookson Ranch Foundation is a California non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. The Foundation was incorporated in 1996 to ensure future generations could enjoy the legacy the Cookson Family created here at "The Ranch".
The following history was written by Oliver Cookson's grandson, Dale Galusha:
As the overheated Lincoln came to a stop along the rugged, dusty road, Oliver Cookson knew that he had arrived at his personal paradise. The long drive from Eureka along the treacherous Highway 299 had been worth the energy when he viewed “The Ranch” near the end of the road in the Redwood Valley. Clean air, sparkling pure water, birds singing in the trees, deer in the meadows, salmon in the creek –breathtaking beauty all around—all added up to heaven on earth.
This was the place that Oliver and Nettie would raise their children. Away from the crowded, congested, depression era streets of Eureka, they discovered a place where the sun replaced the coastal fog; a place where kids could grow up without the noisy distractions of city life; a place where kids could play, and work, and grow.
Thus in 1934 with great determination, lots of faith and meager funds, Oliver and Nettie set out to establish a home along the beautiful Redwood Creek. Hard work, combined with large doses of playing in the river and the meadow, created a place where all who came to visit left with their minds and bodies refreshed.
Oliver’s dream was not to live a life in isolation. His was a dream to have a place where people, young and old, could enjoy the outdoors. He knew what the Ranch meant to him and his family, and he wanted to share it with others.
In the more than 80 years since the Cookson family moved to the Redwood Valley, their home and property have been open to thousands of people of all ages for camping, swimming, picnics and reunions.
Today, those who visit the ranch enjoy swimming in the river, jumping off the rope swing*, canoeing, pitching horseshoes, playing a game of softball or volleyball, hiking up to Rattlesnake Rock for a breathtaking views of the valley, or just relaxing under the shade of the Redwoods and listening to the many sounds of nature.
Following the tradition that Oliver and Nettie inspired, the Cookson children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren generously decided to keep Oliver’s dream alive by making the Ranch available for church groups, family reunions, seminars, civic organizations, and other groups to enjoy.
In order that this legacy can continue the Ranch is now owned and operated by The Cookson Ranch Foundation, Inc, a California non-profit (501c3) corporation.
*Sadly, the rope swing is no longer available, but for those who experienced that and the dam, it was unforgettable.