Once you reach the grove, the walk meanders through redwood sorrel that look like clovers. You can try to find banana slugs, but they tend to hide. In 1929, Mrs. Clara Stout donated this 44-acre grove to the Save-the-Redwoods League to save it from being logged and to memorialize her husband, lumber baron Frank D. Stout. Today, land continues to be added to these northernmost parks through the efforts of the League.
A walk along this trail reveals colossal redwoods thriving in rich soil deposited during periodic flooding of the Smith River. Here waist-high sword ferns carpet the forest floor and tree bases are covered in river soils. Flood waters inhibit the growth of understory trees and plants seen in other groves, leaving the 300-foot redwoods as the main attraction. A short spur trail leads you to the serpentine waters of hte Smith River.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my weeklong December tree series!