Saturday, February 9, 2013

Oregon: Redwood Nature Trail

Distance: 1.1 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 290 ft
Date Hiked: 22 May 2012
Bathroom at Trailhead: Yes

Coastal Redwoods are the star of the Redwood Nature Trail
No journey to the southern Oregon coast is complete without a stroll through a swampy Redwood Forest. The Redwood Nature Trail, in the Siskayo National Forest near Brookings Oregon, loops through the northernmost Coastal Redwood grove in the U.S. and is a great day trip for those touring the area.

Map of the loop
No surface is without its cover of greenery
Coastal Redwoods are the tallest living thing on earth. Heights over 300 ft ... can you say 27 stories... and 20 ft in diameter are not uncommon. This grove is old growth which means that some of the trees are over 2,000 years old. Fie to you Europeans who say the U.S. has no ancient monuments!

The lower riparian environment is overflowing with shrubs
Entering the zone of Redwoods. Note the Sword Ferns along the trail.
The temperate rain forest that is a haven for these trees also promotes the growth of other plants.  Moss drips from every branch like a drag queens gone wild with green feathered boas. Tanoaks, Douglas Firs, and Bigleaf  Maples compete with the Redwoods for sunlight. Meanwhile Ferns, Rhododendrons, and Huckleberry's fight and unseen battle for the choices spots in the undercarriage.

The grove gets thicker
And taller...
A journey on the Redwood Nature Trail is like walking in a giant terrarium. I kept expecting giant lizards to come slithering through on their way to their food bowl. The route starts out in a mixed hardwood forest, crosses a stream and then steadily heads upwards. It is the upper part of the loop, in a more drained environments that the king of trees reigns. You won't have any trouble identifying these titans, the ache in your neck will give them away.

It was hard not to linger and wonder at these trees.
Leaving the grove and heading back to the car.  Lady Ferns dominated this trail segment.
We took our time and lingered in the upper reaches of the loop before heading back downhill to the parking lot. There are markers every so often that match the brochure we picked up at the trailhead so you can learn about the teeming diversity all around you if so inclined.

Crossing the creek again just before the trailhead
We did this trail after hiking the Riverview Trail in Loeb State Park. The two connect for a 3 mile round trip excursion. You get to Loeb State Park and the Redwood Nature Trail just beyond by driving 10 miles up County Road 784 out of Brookings Oregon. There is a parking lot and bathroom on the left. 

No comments: