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Jack London State Historic Park
Photograph from Jack London State Historic Park
Ancient Redood Trail

Jack London State Historic Park - Ancient Redwood Trail

The amazing 14-foot diameter giant redwood, often referred to as the 'Grandmother Tree' is estimated to be 1,800 to 2,000 years old. Although the coast redwood is the tallest living thing in the world, this particular tree is more wide than tall. It may have lost its top to a fire, therefore it does not tower over the forest canopy and make its presence known. When the rest of the old growth forest was logged this tree was spared. Finding the tree can be challenging due to the temporary signs that are due to be replaced soon!

From the Lake take left at Vineyard Trail to a three way intersection, take the small center trail at the picnic table and hitching posts to find the Grandmother Tree.  To return, take Vineyard Trail til you see the sign 'to Parking Lot' where you bear left.  By using the map park visitors can explore Fern Lake, the Orchard, and come back to the parking lot, extending the hike by several miles.  Take your map!

Distance, category, and difficulty:  Round trip about 4 miles, moderate.
 
Exposure: Mostly shady
 
Trail traffic: Moderate. Horses, bikes, and hikers; more on weekends. Dogs are not allowed on any back country trails in the park.
 
Trail surfaces:  Some erosion and roots; some muddy areas
 
Hiking time: 2 hours
 
Features: Picnic tables and horse tie-ups are at the intersection of Vineyard, Fern Lake and Camp Via trail.  The center narrow trail leads to a shady bench near the ancient tree, a wonderful spot for rest and reflection.
 
For a refreshing view go beyond the park border to Fern Lake (pictured) which is nearby. The Historic Orchard is not far from the Ancient Redwood, consult your map due to the poor trail markings.
 
[ Download Redwood and Orchard Trail Map ]
 

 

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