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The Grove of Titans in Northern California’s Redwood Park Is Now Open to the Public

By Michelle Baran

May 25, 2022

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The popular redwood grove now has an elevated path for visitors.

Photo by Max Forster

The popular redwood grove now has an elevated path for visitors.

After becoming a popular off-the-beaten-path destination, the soaring redwood grove now has a marked trail and can be visited responsibly.

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Earlier this month, the Grove of Titans, a collection of coast redwoods (the tallest living things on Earth) officially opened to visitors with the installation of a new visitors path within Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, part of the Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California.

Over the past 20 years, word had gotten out about the grove and its off-trail location. “With no official trails or visitor infrastructure, the influx of people threatened the health of the grove,” Save the Redwoods League, a nonprofit that works to safeguard redwood forests, said in a statement about the Grove of Titans. 

The organization explained that “a complex web of unplanned social trails formed over the years,” bringing foot traffic through the grove, “which destroyed understory plants and damaged the trees’ shallow root systems.” Hikers along these unofficial trails also pushed eroded soil and litter into the area’s streams.

Now, the Grove of Titans, which is located within Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation ancestral territories, can be visited responsibly. Earlier this month, park officials unveiled a 1,300-foot elevated boardwalk through the redwoods, which is accessible from the updated three-mile Mill Creek Trail.

Elevated footpaths allow visitors to see the redwood grove up close without trampling the undergrowth.

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“The Grove of Titans is a premier example of an extraordinary old-growth redwood forest that was experiencing significant damage from visitors walking ‘off trail’ to access this area,” stated Erin Gates, deputy superintendent for the Redwood National and State Parks. “This project is really a story about legacy—being mindful of the role we all play in helping to keep our parks thriving.”

The $4 million Grove of Titans trail project also includes new ADA-accessible parking and restrooms along Howland Hill Road. The boardwalk itself features educational information about the redwood forest and about the Indigenous history of the area, developed in partnership with the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.

There's a reason so many have been drawn to the grove for years—now they can visit responsibly.

The newly unveiled path “is bound to become one of the signature trails within Redwood National and State Parks,” stated Steve Mietz, superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks for the National Park Service.

The Redwood National and State Parks, jointly managed by California State Parks and the National Park Service, is home to the coast redwoods as well as to rivers, 40 miles of rugged coastline, rich meadows, and forest landscapes. The UNESCO World Heritage site is located about a 5.5-hour drive north of San Francisco and just 20 miles south of the border with Oregon.  

You can learn more about the project and how to visit on the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park website.

>> Next: Walk Among the Treetops on the New Redwood Sky Walk

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