Grove of Titans

Deep in the heart of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park lies a grove of ancient redwood trees named for their remarkable size--Grove of Titans. Known by indigenous people for centuries, the group of trees was re-discovered by researchers in the 1990s. The grove is a magnificent stand of ancient redwoods containing some of the world’s tallest trees. 

With no direct access, the grove has been kept relatively hidden for many years until their location was posted online in 1998. Visitors in search of these elusive old-growth trees have created informal “social trails”, which have damaged the forest floor (e.g., trampled vegetation, stripped bark at the bases of trees, compacted soil and exposed redwood roots), threatening the long-term survival of the grove itself. 

“Instead of looking like a prehistoric and pristine forest, it’s been looking increasingly like the L.A. freeway system,” said Brett Silver, deputy district superintendent of California State Park’s North Coast Redwoods District.

Additionally, these unplanned trails can cause soil erosion and corresponding runoff affecting streams where Coho salmon and steelhead trout live, feed and spawn. 

By joining forces, Redwood Parks Conservancy, Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks and the National Park Service are working to protect this sensitive habitat while creating a memorable experience for visitors. The project is estimated to be completed by July 2021 and includes:

  • Conducting a visitor usage study that will inform enhancement of the visitor experience.
  • Installing a 1,300-foot long elevated walkway that connects to the existing Mill Creek Trail.
  • Removing unofficial social trails and restoring impacted areas in and around the grove.
  • Installing visitor services and amenities, including ADA accessible parking and restrooms.
  • Developing interpretive programming and materials that provide information about the grove’s history and redwood ecosystem while encouraging visitors to stay on designated trails.

Donors to Redwood Parks Conservancy and Save the Redwoods League have successfully raised the initial costs to begin the project. 

Redwood Parks Conservancy has committed to providing on-going funding to maintain the trails and, most importantly, education for visitors to tread respectfully on all trails and leave no trace.

You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to the Grove of Titans Fund (scroll to the bottom of page)--either as a one-time gift, an ongoing donation or as a lasting legacy. Thank you for your support!


California State Parks Peace Officer, Brett Silver, points out visible damage to the base of an ancient tree caused by off-trail hiking including stripped bark and understory, exposed tree roots, and compacted soil.

Photo courtesy of Max Forster


The Grove of Titans contains a dense collection of massive redwoods. Although there is no trail access to the grove, these ancient trees are frequently visited by off-trail hikers.  

Photo courtesy of Max Forster

 


 

A social trail weaves through the Grove of Titans. Social trails are so heavily used, they are difficult to distinguish from official park trails.

Photo courtesy of Max Forster.


Signs along the nearby Mill Creek trail direct visitors to stay on trail and read, "Your footsteps damage the redwood forest".

Photo courtesy of Max Forster


Visit our partners at Save the Redwoods League for additional info on the Grove of Titans project. Save the Redwoods League

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