Frequently Asked Questions

Grove of Titans trail building crew, 2021
Trail building crews working on the new raised walkway. Photo by Max Forster, @maxforsterphotography.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Grove of Titans?
The Grove of Titans is located in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Follow Howland Hill Road to the Mill Creek Trailhead. The new boardwalk starts approximately 1 mile into the Mill Creek Trail.
How has the grove been affected by visitation?
The grove wasn’t publicized officially due to concerns about visitor impacts, given the absence of designated trails. In 2011, adventure enthusiasts posted the GPS coordinates of the Grove of Titans online. Visitation exploded, resulting in multiple impacts, including significant damage to the grove’s understory.

By 2016, approximately 8,000 square feet (the size of 1 ½ basketball courts) of sensitive understory plants had been trampled and a network of eroding trails crisscrossed the surrounding area.

The impacts are severe. A series of unofficial “social” trails have compacted soil throughout the area and contributed to erosion and corresponding runoff that can affect coho and steelhead spawning habitat in Mill Creek, which flows into the Smith River.

What has been done to remedy the situation?
A visitor usage study for the grove’s primary access road was conducted. Unsanctioned social trails were removed, and a 1,300-foot-long elevated walkway has been built to provide safe visitor access while protecting the sensitive understory. ADA-accessible parking and restrooms were added along Howland Hill Road. Interpretive materials have been developed to educate visitors about the habitat.
What agencies and groups are involved in the project?
The Grove of Titans project is a collaborative effort involving California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, the National Park Service, and Redwood Parks Conservancy. The project underscores the necessity of collaboration in ambitious conservation initiatives. The Grove of Titans project has required coordination in funding, planning, and implementation. Both the public and private spheres are represented in this project, each bringing particular strengths to the effort. Representatives of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation consulted on the development of the new interpretive materials.
What are the costs, and when will the project be completed?
The total cost of the project is $3.5 million. Completion of all work is expected by early summer 2022.
Is the Grove of Titans accessible to visitors now?
In September 2021, the first mile of the renovated Mill Creek Trail reopened to the public, providing limited access to the new boardwalk through the Grove of Titans. The remaining 2 miles of the Mill Creek Trail between the new boardwalk and the Smith River will remain closed during construction, which will be completed by early summer 2022.

Visitors are encouraged to visit a wide range of designated trails through old-growth redwood forests in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. This includes Stout Grove and the Boy Scout Tree Trail in Jed Smith, as well as other destinations within Redwood National and State Parks. Farther afield in southern Humboldt County, Humboldt Redwoods State Park—the largest redwood state park—offers thousands of acres of old-growth redwoods. Find information, maps, and directions to redwood parks at ExploreRedwoods.org and the California State Parks website.

Is the Grove of Titans trail ADA accessible?
Because of the steep terrain along the Mill Creek Trail that leads to the grove, the Grove of Titans trail project is not ADA accessible.

There are new stairs along the trail in certain steeper areas that follow the natural topography in this part of the park. There are also several steps in the new boardwalk to bring grove visitors up above the sensitive forest floor and to allow the understory plants to recover.