The awe-inspiring towering, thick redwoods with their lacy green branches are found along the California coast on Highway 101. They are especially accessible in the Trees of Mystery park found 36 miles south of the border of Oregon and northern California and 320 miles north of San Francisco. The Trees of Mystery park is a great place to become acquainted with the unique features of redwoods and walk along interpretive trails of the forest floor, or soar above the floor in the skytrail..
Ancient Redwood Country
Redwood country is a beautiful, dark and ancient land of the giants which have thrived for 1000-2000 years or longer. They can reach up to 379 feet tall and 29 feet in diameter midway up.
California redwoods are only found at this spot on earth, while redwood sequoias can also be seen in eastern central California, near Portola Valley and along the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The sequoias are actually a subfamily of the cypress, the sequoia having one living and several fossil species. The living species is known as the giant sequoia or Sierra sequoia which is generally found growing naturally only in groves in California on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Another species of sequoia is the coast redwood which grows naturally along the northern California coast and the southwestern tip of Oregon which provide enough rainfall for this giant variety.
The redwood forests are rare and an enigmatic natural treasure not to be missed.
Visiting the Trees of Mystery Park
The Trees of Mystery is a park created ca. fifty years ago for tourists to enjoy the features of the redwoods and to walk amidst the towering giants on the floor of the forest. The park boasts an interpretive trail with a giant Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox. It also houses a museum, gift shop, restaurant and motel. The park is open year-round and a skytrail is featured to view the area from above, while the trees still tower far above the skytrail. The skytrail assists those not able to walk the trail to view the trail.
Walking on the Forest Floor
While walking on the trails below the towering giant redwoods, one can smell the musty pine scent of branches, leaves and bark, mixed with the scent of trampled earth, and ones lungs open wide to breathe in the fresh air enhanced by the oxygen-producing trees.
There is a claustrophobic sense which comes from the dense and towering surroundings. One also feels the sacred silence of the dense forest interrupted only by the occasional call of a bird soaring downward.
Trees of Mystery.net http://www.treesofmystery.net/
Sequoia and Kings Canyon. NPS. http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm
Redwood National and State Parks. NPS. http://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm