I was given the opportunity to live to live in Northern California last year, which was a HUGE change from the hectic SoCal lifestyle that I had become accustomed to. I had taken for granted all of the restaurants, concerts, malls, and random events that were continually occurring in San Diego. Even with work and school, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Knowing that I would only be living there for a year, I decided that I would explore the area as much as I could. To my surprise, what I discovered is what I miss the most.
I began taking hikes amidst giant redwood trees and felt as if all of my troubles had simply melted away. I guess you could say, I had found my happy place. Walking in a redwood forest is like no other experience you will ever have. As you enter the forest, the air is crisp and a calming stillness floats over you. Leafy ferns, vibrant clovers sprinkled with dewdrops, and pliable redwood needles coat the forest floor. You walk deeper in the grove and can’t help but arch your head back and gaze in wonder at the 200 ft red giants surrounding you. You notice the grooves on the bark and even a few burls on a few trees. The truly amazing thing is that these trees are ALIVE and some of them have been alive for more than 2,000 years. I can’t even fathom being alive that long, but I am thankful that they are. I wish that one day, you will find yourself among these red giants and feel the peace and contentment that I found there.
If you ever find yourself along the coast of Northern California in Humboldt County and would like see redwood trees for yourself, I would recommend visiting these places…
1. Redwood National Forest (http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=475&source=Favorites)
Contains half of the old growth redwoods including trees that are five stories taller than the Statue of Liberty.
Avenue Of The Giants (Wikipedia)
2. Avenue of the Giants (http://www.aveofthegiants.com/)
This is a 31 mile scenic drive that takes you through 51,222 acres of redwood groves.
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
3. Lady Bird Johnson Grove (http://redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=1696)
An impressive old growth redwood forest that was named after Lady Bird Johnson.
4. Founder’s Grove (http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Humboldt/Founders.html)
The most popular redwood grove in Humboldt County.
5. Shrine Drive Thru Tree (http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3947)
Drive your car through a redwood tree.
Headwaters Forest Reserve
6. Headwaters Forest Reserve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headwaters_Forest_Reserve)
An eleven mile trail that details the history of logging in the area. Salmon can be seen spawning in the river during part of the year.
The Sky Trail at the Trees of Mystery
7. Trees of Mystery (http://www.treesofmystery.net)
A nature attraction that features gondola rides high up into the redwoods and features giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.