When our family visited Humboldt Redwoods State Park in northern California recently, we noticed that a lot of people tend to drive through the park without getting out and actually looking at the redwoods. While there certainly is plenty to see from the car, the only way to really experience the redwood forests is on foot.
While the Humboldt Redwoods SP has a number of hiking trails for all skill levels, one of the easiest (and most popular) trails is the short half-mile loop that takes visitors around the Founders Grove. Here is what makes this trail so popular.
Easy to navigate
The Founders Grove trail is about the easiest trail you’ll ever walk. It’s wide, well marked, level and wheelchair accessible. It’s also impossible to get lost in, providing you stay on the trails.
An interpretive walk
The Founders Grove trail is more than a walk through some huge old redwoods. It’s a nature trail that teaches visitors about the fascinating life cycles of these amazing trees which are so large that they live in three climatic zones at once. You can pick up a free brochure at the Founders Grove trail head which calls out 12 points of interest all worth finding. (There’s a 50¢ fee for visitors who want to keep the brochure as a souvenir)
It’s filled with some amazing trees
Throughout northern California, you’ll find redwood trees that are the biggest, the tallest, the oldest, and so on. The Founders Grove has two notable trees worth seeing. First is the Founders Tree which offers a nice view from a distance since the branches don’t start until almost 200 feet up. This tree has a wooden deck around it making it a popular stop for photographs. Another treasure found in the Founders Grove is the Dyerville Giant which was recognized as a “Champion Coastal Redwood” until it fell in 1991. The tree was 370 feet tall and about 1600 years old when it fell down during a rainy season. These two trees along with other are all quite amazing to view.
Walking through Founders Grove takes less than 20 minutes and is definitely worth experiencing. Not only is this redwood forest peaceful and relaxing to walk through, it gives you a perspective of size that you just can’t get from behind the windshield of a car.
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