The second last park of this 2 month adventure brings us to Redwood National and State Parks. The parks are located in the north coast region of California and consist of the National Park along with 3 of California’s State Parks. The State Parks actually existed from the 1920’s and came about as a result of the work of conservationists and citizens who were concerned about the extensive logging of old growth redwood forests. Through public donations and buying back of land the state parks were formed. Yet there was still concern about the extent of logging around the boundaries so in 1968 the creation of the National Park happened to protect lands around the State Parks.
There are 3 types of redwood trees, more commonly known as coastal redwood, giant sequoia and dawn redwood. The coastal redwood and giant sequoia both occur naturally in the California however the giant sequoia only occurs in the Sierra Nevada. Having been to Sequoia National Park before and seeing the giant sequoias it was interesting to see redwoods. Both types of trees have claims to fame. Redwoods are the tallest living things on earth whilst giant sequoias are the largest single trees and largest living thing by volume. To highlight the difference, the redwoods are basically taller but skinny whereas the giant sequoias are slightly shorter but have massive circumferences. Both can have trees that are over 2000 years in age.
When planning our visit to this region I wasn’t actually sure what to expect as I knew there was super tall trees but that was about it. I’d also wondered how different it was to Sequoia. Having spent a few days here I’m glad to say that it has been enjoyable. There’s a great variety of hikes you can take through the forest as well as trails along the coast. It’s also got a number of fairly accessible trails for those who can’t walk far that take you through old growth forest that still looks relatively untrampled on. Having been on a number of the old growth trails in the other parks this trip I can say that the other parks having nothing compared to RNSP. Standing on a trail, dwarfed by tall trees and just the sound of birds has something serene about it. Maybe it’s why I like doing these park holidays. It’s an escape from my normal life that’s filled with technology, traffic, thinking.
One of the cool hikes we did whilst here was a 11.6 mile loop in Prairie Creek park. The nice thing about this trail is that it goes through a variety of environments, from forest to canyon to beach and back. The canyon is known as fern canyon and has 6 different types of ferns in it. The ferns cover the canyon walls giving it a look from some era long gone by. So much so it’s been used in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Star Wars.
Tomorrow it’s onwards to Lassen Volcanic National Park, the last park in this 2 month adventure.