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The Forgotten Trail: The Children's Forest

Humboldt Redwoods SP

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.9 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  There's a grove and trail that's all but forgotten at Humboldt Redwoods called "The Children's Forest". As the story goes, a... more »

Tips:  Location:
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 100
Weott CA 95571

Latitude / Longitude: 40.3225 / -123.9928

Park headquarters and... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Group Campground Parking

Make your way to the Williams Grove Day Use Area. It's near the southern end of the park about a mile north of Meyer's Flat or about 3 miles south of the Visitor Center.

Park in the main parking lot, there's a short gated road down to the Eel River. There's really no visible trail but there should be a sign indicating "trail", pointing ... More

2. Trail Head

The trail head is essentially a wander upstream along the broad gravel beach and through the scattered shrubs. It's also likely that there are wheel ruts from park trucks to follow. Don't stray out of sight of the river though you will want to keep an eye out for a seasonal footbridge. Watch for surveyor's flagging on either bank of the river.

If... More

3. Footbridge

This or right around this location should be the seasonal footbridge. The river is not deep, but the current's fast.

Across the bank should be florescent flagging marking the trail up the bank. The far side is a lot sandier than the eastern bank of the Eel. Follow the flagging through the brush upstream.

You'll know you're in the right place... More

4. Junction

Walking through the burned area will teach you what a fire could do to a Redwood forest. Even after all these years, there's still a lot of fire scarred and blackened timber. The fire looks like it was a low fast one, with the undergrowth obliterated. The trees by and large appear unmarked above 12' or so up the trunks.

At the same time, life is ... More

5. POI- Burls and Tree Caves

This spot adjoins a redwood with some great burl growth. Nearby are examples of tree caves, the burned out cores of older redwoods that have survived past fires. The grounds in this area have a lush carpet of redwood Sorrel.

6. Downed Trees

A dense grove and a surprising number of downed trees. Examples of sistered trees, and quite a few large trees, 10', 12' diameter, and a couple of larger trunks!

There's a widespread redwood sorrel carpet and a lush, fanciful feel to this area.

7. The Children's Forest Loop

A park informational billboard for the Children's Forest. Take a look around - this is one of those old growth groves that will leave you wondering if elves and fairies just might exist.

Stop and listen, you just may experience the sound of...nothing! Just the sounds of the breeze in the trees, or maybe a bird or two. The Eel and the Avenue of... More

8. Tree Cave

Just off the trail, 20 feet or so to the north (left side), is a mammoth tree cave! It seems as though no one has been here for a season or two as the grasses and sorrels appear completely undisturbed.

The cave's entrances stretch at least 20 feet up the tree.

9. Forest Bench

Out in the middle of the woods is a low log bench. The dedication plaque indicates that in 1983 this place was dedicated as a National Geographic World Redwood Grove. It appears that children’s subscriptions helped raise money for work and preservation here.

10. Bridge at Kerr Creek

A light foot bridge.

11. Myers Plaque

A post marks the spot of Meyer's Plaque in a sorrel-covered grove, with trees over 10 foot diameter.

12. Creek Crossing

Crossing Kerr Creek again, no bridge. This is a seasonal creek.

13. Sign Remains

An old burned park sign, completely illegible, with just a few surviving bits of lettering.

14. Dedication Rock

In a grotto in the surrounding terrain lies a moss- and lichen-covered boulder that looks like it belongs, yet seems completely out of place in these woods.

This is the dedication plaque for the Children's Grove.

15. Junction

Returning to the entrance to the Children's Forest. Retrace your route back to William's Grove.

16. End

Back at William's Grove.