Photo by Max Forster
Stay on trail sign.
There will be no more Grove of Titans treasure hunts for hikers seeking the ultimate selfie as Save the Redwoods League reached its fundraising goal of $1 million.
The old growth redwood grove located in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, which was only “discovered” two decades ago, gained an almost cult-like status in certain circles after being featured in the book The Wild Trees. Soon afterward, people made visiting the ancient landscape their new must-see ticket item and would seek out the grove by walking off-trails, trampling through ferns and fallen logs to get to the Grove of Titans.
“This large increase in daily foot traffic has caused substantial damage to these larger-than-life redwood trees and the fragile forest floor,” a Save the Redwood League release states.
In November, California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, the National Park Service and the Redwood Parks Conservancy unveiled a three-year project to safeguard the grove by installing a 1,300-foot-long elevated walkway linking the grove to the existing Mill Creek Trail, while also restoring the impacted areas around the grove.
Read more about the preservation effort and the reason behind it in the Journal
’s Dec. 20, 2018, story “Protecting the Titans” here
More than 3,000 Save the Redwoods League members helped reach the fundraising milestone of $500,000 by Dec. 31. That amount was matched by Josie Merck, a Bay Area artist and an avid Save the Redwoods League supporter. Merck’s father was a major figure in the league for decades.
The $1 million donation supports Phase One of the three-year project. A proposed rerouting of the Mill Creek Trail will be unveiled and construction of a raised pedestrian trail system will undergo compliance review by district resource staff. Phase two of the project includes remediation, construction and existing parking and trail improvements. The new trail system is projected to open July of 2019, according to league.