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Jedediah Smith
Redwoods State Park-California

Northern Gateway to the Redwoods Parks

East of Crescent City, the third of the state parks within Redwood National Park is reached by turning east on U.S. Highway 199 and driving for nine miles. You may also take a sideroad drive to the park by taking Elk Valley Road south of Crescent City and continuing on unpaved Howland Hill Road. The advantage of the latter drive is that you get to experience more of the park scenery, especially as the road follows Mill Creek. The road traces part of the route of an old stage road.

Things to See & Do

Accessed via Howland Road, Stout Memorial Grove this was the first of the park's memorial groves and contains the park's largest redwood&emdash;340 feet high and 22 feet across. The memorial grove is also the trailhead for the Stout Grove Trail, an easy walk that takes about 30 minutes. The forest is dense and dark but this user-friendly trail is accessible to wheelchairs and provides a fine family experience.

Hiouchi Ranger Station

The park visitor center is at the Highway 199 entrance. There are trail maps available here, as well as interpretive programs and exhibits. The station is closed during winter months.

Jed Smith Trails

Hiouchi Trail starts at the ranger station and moves northwest to link the visitor center with several loop trails. The Simpson Reed&endash;Peterson Trail provides a loop path through old growth redwood forest, over small creeks that have ferns lining their banks. There are several large redwood burls along the way.

Leiffer Loop & Ellsworth Loop Trails have their trailhead on the left side of Walker Road, just off Hwy. 199. These moss-covered loop paths take you through big-leaf maple groves and old- growth redwood. The Ellsworth Loop starts about 2 miles down the Lieffer trail. It takes about an hour to do both loops.

A much more difficult trail (Class 6) is the Little Bald Hills Trail, which has its trailhead 1/2 mile east of Stout Grove, off Howland Road. The trail makes a nine-mile round trip, taking about four -- hours. This old former road crosses prairies -- past what was once a ranch&emdash;and ends at the park boundary. There is a spring at the site of the former ranch.

For anglers, the Mill Creek Trail offers several side-trails to good fishing. The trailhead is at the campground. Cross the bridge and take the left fork of the Jensen Loop Trail to reach the Mill Creek Trail. The side trails to the creek are not marked but are easy to spot. Old growth redwoods line the stream.

The trailhead for Boy Scout Trail is beside the road and is signed. This is a four-hour round trip (7.4 miles) leading through old-growth forest. The left fork (after 3 miles) leads to Fern Falls. Local historians believe that small gold mines were operated by Chinese immigrants in this area in the late 1880s and 90s.

For more informationon Redwood National Park,
and the state parks, go to:
Redwoods National Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Del Norte Redwoods State Park

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