On the trail of Oregon Redwoods
Zach Urness/Daily Courier|
The Oregon Redwoods trail is a fantastic place to view Redwoods in Oregon.
California isn’t the only place where you can find coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world. These old-growth monsters can also be found in groves on Oregon’s South Coast.Click here for a photo gallery of the redwood trees.o o o oBy Zach Urness of the Daily CourierHiking the Oregon Redwoods Trail, I can’t help feeling a little bit like Jack in the Land of the Giant.
I’m fairly sure I drove my car here — as opposed to arriving via magic beanstalk — but I can’t shake the idea that the booming sound of “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman” suddenly might break the silence.
Not only am I surrounded by spiraling gothic trees nearly 300 feet tall, but there’s a white mist hanging on the canopy of spider-web-like branches, creating midday twilight in the surrounding forest.
But this surreal experience is part of what makes old-growth redwood forests so unique. It’s the illusion that you’ve somehow wandered into a different world. And in a sense, the assumption isn’t too far off.
After all, redwoods are among the largest and oldest trees in the world. Some have been growing for more than 2,000 years. And while California has a near-monopoly on these ancient monsters, there are a few growing upon the rain-soaked soil of southwest Oregon.
And so, on this cool and rain-soaked day, I’ve decided to travel into the Siskiyou National Forest and seek out the best trails to walk among the Oregon Redwoods (hopefully while avoiding getting my bones ground into bread).
The two best trails I found were near Brookings, Ore.
Redwood Nature Loop
The first trail I explore is called the Redwood Nature Loop, located in Loeb State Park.
Bordering the turquoise waters of the Chetco River and a stone’s throw from the ocean, this loop provides an abundance of informational checkpoints.
Along with the redwoods, the trail also features Douglas fir, maple, Oregon myrtle and red alder.
Truth be told, I feel a little nerdy walking around with a brochure describing all the scientific names and origins of the flora.
Once I finished college, I didn’t think I’d ever contemplate the fact that the “the clover-like leaves covering the ground before you is redwood sorrel — and when in bloom, it produces a small delicate pink flower.”
Fortunately, the mention of dainty pink flowers is at a minimum and there’s plenty of interesting information about the trees.
One of the most fascinating checkpoints is a titanic redwood hovering over a small waterfall. The brochure informs me that the tree is 290 feet tall, has a circumference of 34 feet and, in itself, could provide enough wood to build eight standard two-bedroom houses.
The tree also is between 800 and 900 years old, which means it began growing around the same time of the first Crusades.
The Oregon Redwoods Trail
The second trail is called the Oregon Redwoods Trail (or as I like to call it, the Jack and the Beanstalk trail).
The best feature this trail provides is a way to walk among the giants in solitude.
The forest is a cool, dark and silent oasis of Redwoods. After about a half-mile on the trail filled mostly with fir and maple trees, there’s a well-maintained loop guarded on each size by colossal redwoods.
About a third of a mile down the right side of the loop is a hollowed-out redwood with enough space inside in which to charge rent.
Near end of the loop, there’s another trail that intersects. This trail — about 1.8 miles —winds its way through the depth of the redwood and fern forest. It’s a pleasant hike — although the trees are not as large.
One cool aspect of this trail is it’s located fairly high upon a mountain ridge and, although it’s clearly well-traveled, it gives off a peaceful, solitary vibe.
It’s a little more challenging than the Nature Loop Trail, with a few more dips and inclines, but it’s not too tough.
And thankfully, giant-free.