Who Goes There? LbNA # 13221
|Placed Date||Jan 22 2004|
|Last Found||Jun 5 2011|
This series is found at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland.
Park at the Skyline Staging Area Parking Lot on Skyline Blvd. Pick up a map by the porta-johns.
THERE IS A LOT OF POISON OAK IN THIS HIKE, BEST ATTEMPTED IN THE WINTER! OR TAKE YOUR CHANCES!
This is a loop, approximately 4.5 miles, with some strenuous uphill trails.
How well do you know your flora and fauna? Who lives and plays in the forest?
Box 1 Lofty Gold
From the parking lot, take the West Ridge Trail (now called WRT) to the French Trail. Take the French trail heading downhill.
When the path zigzags around large fallen trees you’ll see on the left a very large fallen tree that has been cut to keep the trail clear. Part of it still stands a good 15-20 feet tall. Go to it. Behind this tree, to the north is a multi-trunked live oak. Look in the crook. (Who knew? They can have a 7-foot wingspan!)
Box 2 Little Jumper
Return to the French Trail and continue downhill. The trail doubles back on itself, the forest is mossy, can you hear the water? At the junction near the creek, keep to the French Trail. You’re at the lowest part of the hike—now you begin to ascend. You come to another junction, stay on the French Trail.
The creek is on your left. Look for large mossy rocks that line a feeder stream on your right. Follow this small feeder (it might be dried up, but the rocks aren’t going anywhere) uphill about 40 steps to a small stand of charred redwoods. Look under a rock at the base of one. (True fact: Redwood Creek, which runs through the park, also has a place in history. The world-famous rainbow trout were first identified as a distinct species from specimens caught in San Leandro Creek, of which Redwood Creek is a tributary.)
Box 3 Good Boy
Return to the French Trail and continue uphill. Lots of uphill for a while-rest often, drink plenty of water, enjoy your surroundings. At the top of this stretch is a nice log for sitting-DO IT! The trail levels out a bit, then goes downhill, then uphill. Pass the marker for Redwood Peak Trail. Stay on the French Trail. Now you’ll descend some, passing a giant green cauldron, check it out, it’s cool. Down some more…When you pass thru a tight redwood gateway, look ahead and to the left for a clump of redwoods with a big, burly root-stump-thing rising behind it. Examine the stump-thing for your prize. (Think of something special about your boy)
Box 4 Sequoia Sempervirens
Return to the trail and continue until you get to Star Flower Trail. Take the southern way, going uphill.
At the next junction, take the Madrone Trail, heading SE.
Go up the trail until it turns into a large split rock. It’s a little mossy and feels like a good place to stop anyway. How about some water? To the right is a clump of madrone trees—to the left, about 15 feet off the trail is a redwood fairy ring. Look under some burnt bark on the far edge of the ring. (Interesting fact: Mature redwoods are naturally fire and insect resistant)
Box 5 Forest Guide
Return to the trail, keep going up—you’ll pass a small wooden fence barrier. Pass thru an oak grove and then a piney area. The trail becomes a solid mass of tree roots. Stop when you reach the first eucalyptus trees. Look to the right to see a fallen tree resting in the "V" of 2 madrones. It points uphill to a large eucalypt. Examine its base. (Hmmm… ancient Celts believed that a white one was a guide to the "Otherworld")
Follow the Madrone Trail to WRT-go west at the junction. Soon you’ll arrive at Redwood Bowl. Any water left? There is a drinking fountain and bathrooms in this picnic/play area. You may want to find the 2 Alien boxes and the Fairy Ring box that are within spitting distance from here.
Return to WRT and enjoy the mostly downhill hike back to the parking area, about 2 miles of easy walking.