Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Prairie Creek (Redwood NP) and Big Lagoon, 5/28/2016

On our second day at Redwood National Park, we started at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center located along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway (exit 573 from CA 101 north). 

Behind the Visitor Center is Revelation Trail, a short .3 mile loop trail through an ancient forest grove. 

The root systems of the coast redwoods are surprisingly shallow (only 12 feet deep). The roots of a single tree. though, grow far and wide intertwining with other trees' roots creating a much stronger anchor. While redwoods can grow from a seed, they more frequently grow clone trees from a burl of an injured tree. This is why there are so many "fairy circles" (circles of trees) in the groves of ancient redwoods.

When a huge redwood falls, it becomes a new habitat for lots of forest animals as well as a nursery for plants and even other trees. 

A short distance north on the Drury Scenic Parkway, we parked in the lot near Big Tree.  This tree and others of a similar size were targeted for logging operations in the late 1800s. A homesteader reportedly wanted to cut down Big Tree is create a dance floor atop the stump! Public interest (sparked by the construction of the Redwood Highway through this and other groves) brought concerned citizens together to preserve these ancient forests.

Big Tree is estimated to be 1,500 years old. It is 304' tall; diameter of the base is 21.6'; and, the circumference is 68'.  

We hiked a couple of miles along Circle Trail and then Rhododendron Trail to continue our exploration of this area of the park. Needless to say, it was serene, peaceful, and gorgeous!

The exposed root system when one of these giant trees falls is amazing. Can you see John standing in the middle of this one? And he is 6'4" tall! These trees are massive in size that is just hard to show in photographs.

Another landmark tree, the Corkscrew Tree, is just a short distance north of Big Tree (on the left). You can park along the road and follow the trail next to the sign. Corkscrew Tree is an example of two redwoods that have become intertwined as they have grown.  

We stopped at a shop, California Native Wood, in Orick and loved the redwood pieces they had on display in their showroom. After purchasing a sign engraved with our names for the RV and a beautiful table, we thought we better get out of there before we spent more!

On our return trip to Trinidad, we stopped at Big Lagoon to give Sadie some off-leash fun. 

The beach is beautiful here and was pretty darn cold, but we still saw some folks playing in the surf. I love the interesting rock formations along the Northern California coast.

For additional information about Redwoods National Park, go to their website. There is no admission fee to the park, but there are some day use fees in several locations that are California State Parks within the national park.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the narrative and great pictures. We are planning to be close by in Sept '17 and will include this excursion on our itinerary!!