Calaveras Big Trees State Park
|Address:||Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Stanislaus National Forest, 1170 CA-4, Arnold, CA 95223, USA|
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Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a little known grove of Sequoias located in the beautiful Northern California gold country. The area became a State Park in 1931 in order to preserve the trees found in the North Grove, including the "Discovery Tree". There are two groves of Sequoias, the North and South Grove, which are connected through boardwalk style trails. The North Grove has about 100 mature Giant Sequia trees and the South Grove has about 1,000 mature Giant Sequoias. Weaving through the different trees, visitors will be able to stand up close and even crawl their way through a few of them. During the spring and summer the temperature is perfect for hiking and camping, and the area provides a great escape from the heat of the Central Valley.
Some of the more famous attractions are "Discovery Tree", which was actually cut down in 1853 and is now referred to as "The Stump". The stump is about 24 ft in diameter and visitors can walk up on top, which has been smoothed over time from the many visitors and dances that used to be held there.
Pioneer Tree is a famous drive through tree, though due to a winter storm has since fallen. Many of the large trees throughout the park will show scars from attempts to cut them down or to remove their bark. Each tree in the park has its own story and history. The largest tree in the park is the Louis Aggasiz tree. This tree was named after an early naturalist and stands over 250 ft tall.
There is plenty to do in the park from ranger guided tours and activities for children, to hiking and camping. There are seven different trails that visitors can follow and the day can quickly be spent meandering through the forest and staring up at the trees. Spring time brings with it a blooming of mountain dogwood flowers, and the fall offers a changing of tree leaves throughout the park. The park is open in the winter, though some roads are closed, and the trails are not groomed.