Ted Humphry’s Trail Notes From Redwood National and State Parks; Pure and Unfiltered Observations From the Trail
2/5/2022 – NBD Parkway – Hike and Bike Day
I parked on the Parkway and rode my bike up to the Ossagon Trailhead, and back to the vehicle.
It was a cool but bright and sunny day, and there were dozens of bike riders out for a leisurely ride on the NBD Parkway. Additionally there were a couple of skateboarders and 3 or 4 roller skaters, and over a dozen dogs on leash, some leading, some following their humans. Also there were at least 2 wheelchairs being pushed up toward Big Tree.
I saw no electric bikes.
This photo was taken about 1 pm outside PCVC, and you can see cars parked on the Parkway almost back to where the Elk Prairie Trail crosses.
This was a popular day!
2/8/2022 – Carruthers Cove, Big Tree and Circle Trail
I parked on Coastal Drive at the Coastal Trail trailhead to Carruthers Cove, walked to the beach and went south and north on the sand as far as I could go, and back to the vehicle. Then I drove to Big Tree and walked the Circle Trail loop back to the vehicle.
The Coastal Trail to Carruthers Cove is passable with several step-over obstructions. This trail requires constant attention to footing because it is a creek bed during rains.
Circle Trail at Big Tree is clear and easily passable.
I was at Carruthers Cove at 11:45 am, with a +1.6 foot low tide. There were 8 or 10 foot wave breakers.
There was no way to get around the big rocks at the south end of Carruthers. I suspect even with a 0 foot low tide and a more calm surf, it still may not be passable. This section of Coastal Trail is effectively NOT passable.
There was evidence of people trying to climb over the big rocks, so I took a look.
There was a steep social trail up,
but it led nowhere.
However, there was a nice view of the beach at Carruthers.
A decade ago the beach here was thickly covered with European beachgrass., but a lot of sand under the beachgrass has gone away. Now there are places where layers of sand and silt are visible under the beachgrass.
I wonder how long ago that was deposited? Or how long ago was this redwood buried?
Here is a study in Sitka spruce root exposure, thanks to the Pacific ocean.
I also came across a large portion of a whale vertebrae.
2/10/2022 – Tall Trees, 44 Camp
I parked at TT trailhead and walked down and through the TT grove to Redwood Creek Trail, then up to 44 Camp. Then I backtracked on the other side of the TT loop, out on the gravel bar, and back to the vehicle.
The TT Access Road remains drivable in any vehicle. It has sections of mild to moderate washboarding, a few chuck holes, and was moderately dusty. Not the way it should be in February!
The TT Trail to the grove is easily passable.
The TT Loop has a couple of debris piles to step through, and several step-overs, and is passable.
The short section of Redwood Creek Trail is passable with step-overs.
And the trail up to 44 Camp is passable with step-overs.
Redwood Creek was flowing at about 280 cfs, and was about 22 inches deep at the deepest. I crossed here.
In the current, using a walking stick allows 2 point contact with the creekbed at all times.
44 Camp was clean and showed no sign of recent camping.
I had lunch on the gravel bar adjacent to the TT grove. A California tortoiseshell butterfly was infatuated with my red pack.
He or she flitted around me for 20 minutes. It was a little strange to see it in February.
All day I encountered no backpackers, had just 2 visitor contacts, and one question about Hyperion. Not many people out and about.
Ted is a retired pediatrician who volunteers at Redwood National and State Parks.