The Nature Trail
Length 0.7 mi · Climbing 10 ft
This short interpretive trail is located in a small old-growth grove across the Avenue of the Giants from the visitor center and Burlington Campground. In general the trails south of the visitor's center are a little less impressive than those to the north, and the Nature Trail is right in the middle in both location and appearance. Although it's just a mile north of the Kent-Mather trail, the Nature Trail has a more interesting and attractive look. The trees are darker, there seems to be more of a variety of tree sizes, and the groundcover is lusher, with abundant ferns. On the other hand, the Nature Trail doesn't have as many big trees as the spectacular groves just to the north, and the grove is small, with signs of logging along the edges and near the trailhead.
The trail is wheelchair accessible, flat and wide and surfaced with gravel. New, wide footbridges have been installed.
Click here to see the trailhead location in Google Maps.
One of the interpretive signs points out what appears to be a small dead tree that is actually a redwood branch. The trees shed these branches and they fall with their thick end (the end that was attached to the tree) pointing down at such a speed that they stick in the ground, standing up like a little tree. This is actually a common sight in many redwood parks.
Just south of the Nature Trail is the Fleishmann Grove Trail. This trail, which up to the first footbridge has been nicely resurfaced with gravel, branches off from the Nature Trail near the Visitor's Center trailhead and heads south alongside the Avenue of the Giants. Unfortunately, the woods along the entire trail have been partially logged, with a few heavily-logged stretches and one lightly-affected stretch, so the trail is not very enjoyable.
At the north end of the Nature Trail, a spur leads to the Eel River and a summer footbridge to the River Trail. Another spur leads under the Avenue to Burlington Campground, which has been heavily logged.
© 2007 David Baselt