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Humboldt Redwoods State Park - Founders Tree Trail
What? : Humboldt
Redwoods State Park is a large state park along highway 101 corridor. The park
containing and protecting Rockefeller Forest, the world's largest remaining
contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods. The Founders Tree Trail hike
will take you into a large Redwood Grove, this is an easy flat 1.2 miles loop
hike that almost anyone can do.
This park is
part of my "Redwood Parks at Northern California Coastline" road-trip
Where? : Located 170
miles north of Santa Rosa alongside highway 101 and the Avenue Of The Giants
Scenic Road, from Myer Flat at the south to Redcrest at the north. The Trailhead
to Founders Grove Nature Trail Loop is located on Dyerville Loop sideroad, just
off the “Avenue Of the Giants” road (near South Fort El River crossing).
When? : Year round.
Between October and May, the park receives about 80 inches of rain. Fog is not
as common as at the coastline.
Due note 1: The Park is
located along the main south-north highway 101, this is an excellent place to
plan a short stop, take a break from your long drive and enjoy a short hike at
Due note 2: This area was
more densely populated before European incursion than it is now. Today, more
than 10 percent of the population of Humboldt County are Native American, including
many people of Sinkyone descent who live along the North Coast.
Due note 3: Humboldt
Redwoods State Park is part several others redwood state and National parks
that stretch up at the Northern California's coast and protect the remaining of
the old growth Redwoods trees.
Due note 4: The trail is
not wheelchair accessible and as all singletrack trails in the redwoods, bikes
and dogs are not allowed.
Due note 6: Restrooms are
located at the trailhead.
Due note 7: This trail is
popular and can be crowded, if the parking lot is full find a parking spot on
roadside and make sure you do not block traffic.
My thoughts: I visit this
park on my way north and I found it worth the stop. This is a large park and I
only visit few sections of it, visiting old-growth Redwood Groves.
onto Mattole Rd is an excellent way to see the redwoods from your car or to
enjoy few short redwoods forest hikes.
coast redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) exist in a narrow band that runs for 500
miles from Monterey to just over the Oregon border. The redwoods follow the
rain and fog at elevations below 2,000 feet, where heavy winter rains and
moderate year-round temperatures occur. Trees can grow up to 350 feet tall or
more, with a base diameter of about 20 feet.
“living fossils” dating back 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period- the
time of the dinosaurs. The oldest coast redwoods are about 2,000 years old.
As result of
extensive logging activity in Between 1880 and the early 1900s, thousands of
acres of old-growth redwoods had disappeared; Series of state and national
parks in northern California protect the remaining of the old-growth Redwoods.
In 1994, NPS
and California State Parks agreed to co-manage four parks: Del Norte Coast,
Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks, and Redwood National
Park. Managing the parks together provides protection and preservation of more
than 105,000 acres of redwood forest.
logging only about 5% of old growth Redwood exist today, 95% of them are in
northern California and 80% of them are already protected in one of the parks.
Redwoods Park spans 53,000 acres, about one third, or 17,000 acres, of the park
is old-growth redwood forest, the largest expanse of ancient redwoods left on
offers one of the best places to see redwoods by car: the 32-mile-long Avenue
of the Giants Scenic Road parallel to highway 101. Another highly recommended
drive is the Mattole Rd., a narrow side road that wind in between the giant
redwood trees and offer several hiking options along the road.
headquarters and the visitor center are located on the Avenue of the Giants,
State Route 254, between the towns of Weott and Myers Flat.
Founders Tree Trail Hike:
This is a very
easy 1.2-mile-long loop hike.
You can see
many trees and enjoy the hike in the fern covered ground.
parking lot (restrooms), cross the road and walk short distance to Founders
This giant tree
is 346 ft tall (I saw that it may be “only” 325 ft) with age estimation of
1,400 years, the base is protected by a wooden deck and indeed looks like as
much larger than the surrounding trees.
From this point
the trail fork to the first loop, we went right and after short hike we arrived
at a location where several large redwoods fall to the ground, Dyerville Giant.
You can witness
firsthand how large are the trees and their root system.
the huge log you can walk back to the loop starting point or turn right to the second
loop (Mahan Loop Trail).
Once done with
your hiking you will walk back to your starting point.
is a fun, short hike, and excellent stop on your long way.
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