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Humboldt Redwoods SP

ave of the giants
Humboldt Redwoods State Park covers a big area, with the largest remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world. Avenue of the Giants is a scenic 32 mile two-lane highway that runs north-south through the park, with many different groves and child-friendly trails to explore.
Humboldt Redwoods Photo Album
  Avenue of the Giants
      The first glimpse of coast redwoods reaching hundreds of feet in the sky is breathtaking, and driving through this towering forest is unforgettable. But don't try to drive the entire length (32 miles) in one day.
      Bring your lunch, so you can stop in one of the many picnic areas and enjoy lunch under the trees.
 

Burlington Visitor Center

visitor center
    If this is your first visit to the Redwood Coast, be sure to stop at visitor center to pick up maps, information, children's books, and learn about the trees, plants, and animals in the park. Free brochure and map for the state park shows the different groves, parking areas, picnic areas and restrooms.
    Exhibits in the visitor center show the variety of forest wildlife (owls, deer, squirrels, skunks, hawks, herons, raccoons, black bears), and fish in the Eel River, how to identify their tracks.
    Totally unique is the Travel Log – a redwood motor home. One person, Thomas Kellog, hollowed out a single huge redwood log and made a kitchenette, toilet, double bed, stove, dining table, bookcase, lockers, mounted on a truck. (The bear sitting in the driver's seat is fun).
      Picnic tables and restrooms, cross over the street to take a short walk around the Gould Grove Nature Trail.
eel river
    Gould Grove Nature Loop Trail – Easy loop trail (.7 mile) through the redwoods, forest floor covered with ferns and sorrel (looks like four leap clover).
    An offshoot trail goes down to the South Fork of the Eel River, with pebbly beach and seasonal bridge. Great picnic spot when the river is low.
 

Founders Grove

      Tip: At the beginning of the hike, pick up the interpretive trail pamphlet, with information about 12 numbered stops.
dyerville giant
    The most spectacular tree in the grove is the Dyerville Giant, and it's lying on the ground. More than 360 ft high, about 2,000 years old, it was one of the tallest trees in the world (about as tall as a 30 story building), before it crashed to the forest floor in 1991.
    Walking the length of the Dyerville Giant along the trail really gives you a sense of the immense height of the coast redwood! The tree is now a nurse log, host and home to plants and animals in the forest, it will take about 400 years to decompose completely.
      Perfect spot for photos, Founders Tree (461 ft high), and the “goosepen” walk through tree next to the trail.
      Founders Grove Loop Trail is .5 mile, for a longer hike, take the trail that branches off to the Mahan Loop.
 

Rockefeller Grove

rockefeller grove
    Located near the Founders Grove, on the west side of the South Fork of the Eel River, on Mattole Rd., this grove has stellar redwood trees and is more peaceful than groves right along Avenue of the Giants.
    We hiked the easy .5 mile loop trail in the late afternoon, sunlight filtering through the redwoods onto lush green carpets of redwood sorrel. Burls in the tree looked like mythical creatures wrapped in redwoods?
 

Tips

      - Stay on trail paths to preserve the ecology of this remarkable forest. Too many footsteps smash little seedlings growing and injure the redwood's root system.
      - Don't climb on trees on the ground (fallen trees play a vital role in maintaining a healthy forest).
      - Bring water bottles – On a warm summer day, kids will. Don't drink water in the Eel River, particularly if there is algae.
      - Restrooms – In the groves, available restrooms are located next to the parking lot. Use the facilities before going out on your hike.
      - Limited parking - Parking lots aren't big, and fill up quickly for popular groves. E.g. Founders Grove. In summer, go early in the day.
      - Campgrounds – There are two seasonal, and one year round campground in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and very popular in summer. Campground reservations are available six months in advance.
   

Fun food

      Farm stands (near Pepperwood) – In summer, sample the bounty of Humboldt County. We stopped at two farm stands – The Corn Crib and Sarvinsky Family Farm to buy homemade jam, potatoes, squashes, peppers, pears, cucumbers, delicious tomatoes.
       
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