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Stout Grove

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Redwood National and State Park, California

Stout Grove, located on the floodplain of the Smith River, is considered by many to be the world’s most scenic stand of redwoods—there are no tall fences, no interpretive signs, and little road noise, just densely packed stands of towering trees and lush temperate ground cover as far as the eye can see. The 0.6-mile loop trail winds its way through the Stout Memorial Grove, granting the hiker full immersion into the forest, and although the redwoods found here are not the biggest, the openness and lack of understory make for an incredible experience. From the parking area, the trail heads downhill into Stout Grove where you will find the beginning of the loop trail—hike clockwise and you will be along the river for the first part of your hike, or follow the trail counterclockwise and save the river for last. Of course, the tall majestic redwoods are the star of the show, but as you hike, give the understory some attention too—here you will find massive ferns, salal, oxalis, trillium, redwood sorrel, and our favorite mollusk, the banana slug. If you are hiking in the spring, you might also find the rhododendrons in bloom—always a pleasure to encounter.

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