redwood coast
Redwood Nat'l Park

The world's tallest living tree, "Hyperion" (more than 379 feet high), is in Redwood National Park. The coast redwoods grow more than 300 feet high, taller than the Statue of Liberty. Many of the old growth redwoods are 500-700 years old, some are 2,000 years old. These majestic trees grow from tiny seeds that pop out of cones, or they can sprout from a living tree!

Lady Bird Johnson Grove Walking through the redwoods is always a magical experience, and especially so in this grove. It's a one mile loop trail through towering coast redwoods, moss covered trees, prehistoric-looking fern meadows, bunches of salmonberry and thimbleberry bushes, and in season, the glorious rhododendron "rose trees." Look down at the iris blooming at your feet, then look up, to the tops of the redwoods hundreds of feet above, where the branches touch the sky. Best of all, there are hollow redwood trees (still living) to hide in and run through! Pick up the brochure for the self guided nature trail. It may be drippy and misty (the redwoods love the moisture), interspersed with pale daylight filtering through the redwoods. This trail is good for kids of all ages.
Hike along Redwood Creek Trail - Take a picnic and stroll down the Redwood Creek Trail for as long as you like (the first mile or so is okay for strollers.) It's an easy, level trail that goes along Redwood Creek. When the water is low, Redwood Creek is perfect for wading in the gravely stream bed.
Horseback rides - Redwood Trails Horseback Rides offers rides in the park. Kids have to be 7 years and up for the regular horseback rides (1/2 hour, 1 hour, 3 hours or 6 hours). Call 707.498.4837 for reservations.
Prairie Creek Visitor Center - Stop into the Visitor Center to see a really great diorama of animals that live in the area - gray fox, great horned owl, elk calf, mountain beaver, raccoon and California quail, black bear. Touch table with antlers and whale vertebrae, plus kid's nature books.

Elk Meadow and Trillium Falls - In Elk Meadow, you may see Roosevelt elk grazing (we didn't, but they roam around). From the parking lot in the meadow, take a hike through the redwoods to Trillium Falls, less than a mile round trip to the falls. When you cross the creek on a metal bridge, you've arrived at Trillium Falls, a delightful cascade over moss-covered stones. This trail is easy for even small ones. The trail continues on past the falls, a 2.5 mile loop trail (if you have bigger kids who'd like to get out and stretch their legs). Look for those charming, bright yellow banana slugs on the trail.
Newton B. Drury Parkway - Take a drive on this road through the redwoods, past walls of ferns on either side (really incredible). All along the way, there are turnouts and trails. Just start down any of these trails into the forest, and see where it leads.
Trees of Mystery - Sky Trail (Klamath) -You can't miss the Trees of Mystery. As you drive by on Highway 101, there's a gigantic statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the blue ox. On the Sky Trail gondola, you ride high above the forest floor to the ridge summit for views of the tall trees and ocean to the west. To the east, use the binoculars to spot ospreys in their nests, perched high in the branches. Admission to the Sky Trail also includes a walk through the trees and the "Trail of Tall Tales," redwood carvings of various figures and animals.
Tip: The gondola ride is pretty cool, but to really see the old growth redwoods, your best bet is Redwood National and State Parks (Redwood National Park is free).

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