The F. K. Lane Trail


Length 0.4 mi · Climbing 20 ft
California > Southern Humboldt County > Humboldt Redwoods State Park

The F.K. Lane Grove

Background

The Francis K. Lane grove is the southernmost redwood grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The grove gets a steady trickle of visitors mainly because it's the first attraction that northbound drivers encounter. Although the grove is strikingly lush for this part of Humboldt Redwoods, most of its trees are not as impressive as those a few miles to the north. A dense, jungle-like understory of smaller trees prevents the grove from developing the cathedral-like appearance characteristic of Humboldt's best redwood groves. Nonetheless, it's still a fine-looking grove.

No roadsigns mark the grove, but it's hard to miss; just look for a big, circular dirt parking lot off the Avenue of the Giants just north of Philipsville. Somewhat unusually, the Avenue skirts the redwood grove rather than going through it, so you can't see much from the road. There's a grassy area with a picnic bench and some port-a-potties, and a small post marks the trailhead.

Click map to show all trails and roads
Part of the Trail Map of Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Redwood Hikes Press, 2013)

Hike description

Click here to see the trailhead location in Google Maps.

The trail starts out as an unpromising track through a grove of small redwoods with no groundcover or understory. After a few yards, though, the trail approaches a 3-foot-tall embankment that's covered with a lush green carpet of redwood sorrel and ferns. The trail then splits; the right fork climbs the embankment and suddenly enters a much lusher environment. This is the most impressive part of the grove, with large redwoods set into a think carpet of sorrel with plenty of ferns. There's also a dense understory of bay trees, and unfortunately there's also a lot of poison oak. It's unclear why this part of the grove is so dramatically different.

The F.K. Lane Grove

An unofficial trail that crosses the main trail is actually an old alignment of the Avenue of the Giants.

The trail climbs gently, reaching a steep hillside that defines the limit of the grove. Some stumps are visible on the hillside and at the base of the hill. The trail turns left, curving around the base of the hill and soon beginning a slight descent. The woods get gradually less impressive and there are few big trees near the end, although there are some large fallen logs. Poison oak is especially bad in this last stretch.

The F.K. Lane Grove


 

© 2007, 2012 David Baselt