Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.