The Arcata Community Redwood Forest

The Arcata Community Redwood Forest
Life in Northern California is impacted by the beauty of the majestic Coastal Redwood and its Ecosystem

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jedidiah Smith State Park

Jedediah Smith 

Redwoods State Park

Jedidiah Smith Redwood State Park is named after Jedediah Strong Smith who explored the northern California interior in the early 1800s.  He explored and trapped the area starting in 1826 and pioneered a trail from Great Salt Lake through the Mojave Desert and into the San Bernardino Mountains in California.  In the mid-1800's, the California gold rush helped bring a rush of exploration of the area promoting supply routes to remote mining camps.  The exploration also helped populate the counties of Humboldt and Del Norte in northern California.

Jedidiah Strong Smith
What can you expect to find in Jedidiah? Besides redwoods, the park contains a diversity of conifers, such as the both the Douglas and Grand fir, Sitka spruce and western hemlock.  The madrone, California bay, Tanoak, beeches, both Big Leaf and Vine Maple and Red Alder are also found here.

The beauty of a redwood forest is made up of diverse both flora and fauna.  Not only are the trees majestic and magnificent, but the overall understory of sorrel ground cover, sword ferns, moss, lichens, red and evergreen huckleberry, thimble berry, blackberry and salmon berry bushes adds color and invites black bears, deer, mountain lions, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, beavers, foxes, chipmunks and birds, such as the pileated woodpecker, marbled murrelets, bald eagles and spotted owls  and other animals to feast on these food sources.

Yet, the most color and beauty comes from the pink and purple flowers of the California rhododendron and other azaleas during the spring.  The soil is rich and the matted ground cover is thick and spongy with needles and is the home to salamanders, mollusks, worms and banana slugs, as well as snakes.  Both the Smith River and Mill Creek contain both the king salmon and steelhead trout. The overall redwood ecosystem is rich in diversity.

Where To Go To See The Some Of The Oldest Redwoods
To see some of the oldest redwoods you will need to hike to Stout Grove.  It has one of the most abundant stands of old growth redwoods.  It is also very scenic for photographers looking for a good picture of a stand of magnificent redwoods without a lot of understory thus allowing defined photos of the tree.  The stand isn't very large and doesn't contain the biggest trees.  But Stout Grove is a must for visitors to Jedidiah Smith Redwood State Park who are looking for a serene place to gaze upon the wonder of the redwoods.  Stout Park is located at the junction of the Smith River and Mill Creek. Camping and fishing .
Smith River

Stout Grove
Stout Grove

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