Exploring the Eel River Valley

The Redwood Forest

Founders Grove Nature Trail

continued from Julia Hill and Her Tree Sit in Luna

Tall redwood trees on the Avenue of the Giants.

Tall Redwood Trees on the Avenue of the Giants.

This easy 20-minute self-guided nature trail tells about the ancient redwood forests. You will also find several special trees along the half-mile loop trail. The Founders Tree was dedicated to those who led the drive to establish the Save-the-Redwoods League. The Dyerville Giant was recognized as the "Champion" Coast Redwood by the American Forestry Association until it fell in 1991.

A "champion tree" is determined from a combination of height, circumference, and crown spread for each species. Before it fell it was at least 362 feet tall and 17 feet in diameter, 200 feet taller than Niagara Falls or comparable to a 30 story building.

The trail is located on Dyerville Loop Road 1/8th mile off the Avenue of the Giants.

Women's Federation Grove

The Women's Federation Grove is one mile south of Founders Grove on the Avenue of the Giants, and is excellent for swimming, fishing, picnicking, and hiking. The Grove also has a beautiful stone building with four fireplaces designed by renowned San Francisco architect Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle.

The Big Tree Area and Bull Creek Flats

In the summer of 1917, Madison Grant, Henry Osborn, and John Merriam, three noted conservationists, stopped at Bull Creek and witnessed the logging operations moving toward this great forest. In 1918 they helped establish the Save-the-Redwoods League and in 1921, with the addition of State funds, the League purchased its first grove, now a part of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. brought his family to Bull Creek Flat in 1930. The Rockefeller's $2 million donation to the League, in 1931, helped purchase 9,000 acres at Bull Creek.

A picnic spot next to Bull Creek can be found at the Big Tree area, along with several trails that wander beneath many enormous redwoods. This area has several times laid claim to the tallest tree, and from the ground many indeed do look like the tallest.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Old book cover "Touring the Old Redwood Highway".

Northern California's largest redwood park covers over 51,000 acres and stretches along Highway 101 for 40 miles. The Park has more than 17,000 acres of old growth redwoods and the largest remaining stand of ancient redwoods in the world. The oldest recorded redwood tree, more than 2,200 years old, was found in the Park. Most of the Park's spectacular redwood groves are accessible by car or short walks.

The Visitor Center is located two miles south of Weott on the Avenue of the Giants. The Center has many displays that interpret the redwood environment. A slide show captures the beauty of Humboldt redwoods throughout the seasons. There are also videos that explain redwoods, plants, animals, and river floods of the region.

Natural history books, field guides and over-the-counter information is available. In the summer, ranger-and naturalist-led activities are scheduled daily. The Visitor Center is open seven days a week and you can call 707-946-2409 for information on the summer interpretive programs.

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park

This 390-acre park is located 18 miles east of Highway 101 on Highway 36. Loved by those seeking a place off the beaten path, the park has 5 miles of trails and offers a  quiet place to camp, hike, fish, swim and picnic. Excellent swimming holes on the Van Duzen River and a warm climate.     Continued.

NEXT: Living in a Temperate Rain Forest.


The Redwoods


Related Items

Avenue of the Giants.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park.