Surely a leprechaun or Tyrannosaurus Rex will appear at any moment. Each footstep sinks silently into the soft, damp forest floor. Gazing skyward the tops of the California Redwoods remain invisible.
With the ability to grow as tall as 370 feet and to live for 2000 or so years, a dinosaur sighting seems imaginable in the coastal rainforest setting.
History of Navarro State Park and the California Redwoods
Driving eastward from the northern California coast near Mendocino, the redwood groves swallow up unsuspecting Highway 128. Listening closely one can imagine the sounds of the indigenous Pomo people. Living throughout Mendocino County for thousands of years the Pomo flourished in the land of the redwoods.
Grasses and roots from the beds of the Navarro River served as material for creating Pomo baskets, now sought after items for museums around the world.
The 1850’s brought European settlers to the land of the redwoods. Both the California Redwoods and the Pomo people would be changed forever. In June 1857 the Pomo people were sent to a reservation near Fort Bragg, northwest of Navarro.
At the same time the old growth redwoods came under heavy logging by the saw mill industry. Today only stumps of first growth California Redwoods remain in Navarro.
The good news of Navarro River Redwoods State Park
Today second growth California Redwoods climb toward the sky. Often sprouting from the remnants of the first generation trees, they reclaim Navarro as their own. By purchasing the river front land in 1987 and donating it to the state, the Save the Redwoods League gave these red giants new life.
Tips for Visiting the California Redwoods in Navarro
Do not disturb or remove any natural or cultural features from the park no matter now tempting. That includes any leprechauns you might find.
Dogs are welcome on a leash.
Other than an initial sign upon entering the park, trails for walking among the redwoods are not obvious Watch for pull outs at the side of the road.
Have you seen any big trees? Or a leprechaun?