Redwood National and State Parks

Redwood National and State Parks

New trail at Redwood National Park winds through ancient trees

December 15, 2010, 8:55 am

A giant redwood tree that some say looks like nature's version of Darth Vader's mask is one of the highlights of the first new trail to open in 10 years in Redwood National Park.

Visitors have already named three trees on the new three-mile Berry Glen Trail: the Scabby Tree, Twisted Snag and the Monster Tree. Those with creative minds might see how the latter somewhat resembles Darth Vader. The trail also provides a key link in the network of trails between Redwood National Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

The trail starts at the Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Grove, located along Highway 101 just north of Redwood Creek and the town of Orick. From the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, the trail is routed north through old-growth redwoods to Berry Glen, the site of a 1930s family store known for homemade berry pies, according to ranger Jeff Denny. The trail then crosses the highway and leads into the Elk Meadow Day Use Area.

The first part of the hike travels through pristine old growth, and the last part extends into habitat for Roosevelt elk. As a new trail, many of the ancient trees along the route are now being seen for the first time by hikers. It can also be hiked in the reverse direction, of course, starting at Elk Meadow.