Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is the last in a long string of redwood parks that stretch up northern California's coast. A few miles inland from the ocean, the park is densely forested with huge ancient trees. In fact, it contains 7% of all of the old-growth redwoods left in the world.
The park was named for Jedediah Strong Smith, who in the 1820's became the first white man to explore the interior of northern California. The park was established in 1929 with a small parcel donated to Save the Redwoods League by the family of lumberman Frank Stout.
Today you can fish, kayak or snorkel in the Smith River, the longest major free-flowing river in California, take a historic drive on Howland Hill Road, enjoy a campfire program at Jedediah Smith campground, hike through a lush rainforest on 20 miles of trails, or enjoy exhibits and shop in the visitor center (open May-September).
The park protects 10,000 acres of primeval redwood groves. Almost all of the park land is watershed for the Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary and spawning ground for King salmon and Steelhead trout in the fall and winter. Wildlife of the park is both abundant and varied, including such animals as black bear, deer, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, skunks, fox, beaver, river otter, squirrels, chipmunks, and many others. Some of the rare or uncommon examples of bird life identified include the Bald Eagle, Spotted Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, and Marbled Murrelet.
"Thick redwood forest, banana slugs, a beautiful river, and pollywogs," says Save the Redwoods League, which helped the state acquire more than 5,500 acres of redwoods here. "What more could you ask for?"
There are many historic memorial groves in Jedediah Smith Redwoods Stae Park, and below are maps to show their locations. Thank you to our good friends at Save the Redwoods League.
Also included is a great video of Howland Hill Road in Jedediah Smith Redwoods: