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The Taber Nature Trail


Length 1.7 miles · Climbing 130 ft
California > Southern Humboldt County > Standish–Hickey State Recreation Area

The Taber Nature Trail

Background

The Taber Nature Trail is a short, pleasant trail that climbs to a small upland grove with a few small redwoods. The redwoods have apparently not been logged, but it seems that the grove been logged of other trees, leaving about ten or twenty medium-sized stumps. The regenerating forest has a somewhat odd appearance, consisting of a lot of really small conifer trees growing among a few dozen widely-scattered, small-to-medium redwoods. Many of the redwoods are blackened and the grove is somewhat dry-looking, with little groundcover except for some mounds of huckleberry bushes alongside the trail.

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Part of the Trail Map of Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Redwood Hikes Press, 2017)

Hike description

Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps and Google Street View.

The trailhead is a little hard to find. Driving north on Highway 101, just after Leggett you’ll see the entrance to Standish-Hickey on your left. Ignore this entrance and continue a few more yards. Just after passing the old shuttered gas station, turn onto the second dirt road to your right. The road is not marked and is partly hidden by some trees. Once you turn onto the road, there’s a well-marked trailhead and a small dirt parking lot.

There’s quite a bit of traffic noise from Highway 101 as the trail sets out. A bit of trail near the beginning can get overgrown, but otherwise the trail is clear and very well-maintained. The trail enters a tanoak wood, winds around a house, and begins a gentle climb. The traffic noise fades out, although it never completely disappears. The trail follows a little ravine where a few small scattered redwoods grow, then enters the main redwood grove just before reaching an intersection with the loop portion of the trail. There’s a relatively dense cluster of redwoods around this intersection. Turn left onto the loop, which winds around a small plateau.

Lots of really small trees grow alongside the redwoods on the Taber Nature Trail

At the north end of the loop, next to the Petronelle Majer memorial sign, is an especially large redwood that actually consists of several trunks fused into one at the ground.

The grove’s biggest tree stands next to the Petronelle Majer memorial sign

At the end of the loop, turn left to return to the parking area.

Service road

Right next to the loop is a dirt service road that’s not connected to the trail. The dirt road starts at an employee residence and leads to a water tank. Interestingly, although it’s only about ten yards from the trail, the woodland along the dirt road has a lusher and much more normal old-growth redwood upland look than the loop trail, with the arrow-straight trees and healthy groundcover characteristic of old growth.

A few years ago the park added an “Area Closed” sign at the beginning of the service road, so you can no longer walk up the road from the parking lot. However, it’s pretty easy to cross over to the service road from the beginning of the loop.

Service road near the Taber Nature Trail

 


 

© 2009, 2014, 2017 David Baselt