Fairy Ring  LbNA # 11539 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateOct 10 2004
LocationOakland, CA
Planted ByBlackbird    
Found By flyingcrane
Last Found May 10 2010
Hike Distance?

Some of you may actually believe that fairy rings are created on moonlit nights when faerie folk and other fey creatures come out to dance and revel. The pattering of their tiny feet pounds the grass down, creating the circular clearings, however…

Fairy Rings are actually natural occurring phenomenon in some fungi and trees. Some species of mushrooms drop spores in a circular pattern around their base, resulting in a new generation of mushrooms in a circle around the parent’s position. This also occurs in the Pacific Redwood tree. The mother tree sends up suckers at the base of the trunk and some develop into trees themselves—often these Fairy Rings eventually consist of 6-10 large redwoods in a nearly perfect circular configuration.

You can get to this letterbox at Redwood Regional Park one of several ways: an easy, short hike of about .2 miles, one way. This one is good for kids or folks with mobility issues (though it is still hiking on a trail)—I just got a cast off my leg and was able to do this short hike with no problem. There is also a medium hike, just over .5 miles (each way), and finally the longest, but still gentle hike of about 2 miles, each direction. The long hike is quite lovely with 2 benches for resting and gazing along the way…

A map of the park is handy but not required.

The long hike: park at Skyline Gate Staging Area, the big parking area on Skyline Blvd. Take the West Ridge Trail on the right side of the parking area. Stay on this trail until ***.(see below)

The medium hike: park at the Moon Gate parking area, a small parking area past Skyline Gate Staging Area, but still on Skyline Blvd. Take the West Ridge Trail to the right and stay on it until *** (see below)

The short hike: park at Chabot Observatory. Find the Robert’s Ridge trail near the small parking area (there is a phone booth in this parking lot) to the right of the parking garage. Take Robert’s Ridge trail to the right, stay on this trail until *** (see below)

***Now we’re all here…soon you will come to a junction of about 5 trails. You’ll see a sign for Redwood Bowl picnic area. (Look to the left of the sign for a great fairy ring that still holds the mother tree inside of it. There are several others in the vicinity that should be checked out.) Look to the right of the sign for the trail post marker. There is a stump in front of you with a big hole through it.
Find the 2 redwood trees nearby that grow close together—one big, the other smaller. They have a big ruff of growth on the non-trail side. Look in the ruff, up against the trunk for the letterbox.