Big Trees State Park

Written by Michael Federico
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Big Trees State Park is considered to be the longest continually running tourism facility in California. It came into existence in 1931 and has hosted visitors from around the world every year since. Over time, pieces of land have been added to the park, bringing its current area to approximately 6,500 acres.

California saw it necessary to create Big Trees State Park in order to preserve the north grove of giant sequoias. This area, located four miles northeast of Arnold, is home to the Discovery Tree, the first Sierra redwood that Dowd noted in 1852. It was feared that if the land was not protected this environmental treasure and others like it would be lost forever.

Visiting Big Trees State Park

Many people who come to Big Trees State Park do so to visit the north grove. The majestic sequoias cut an impressive figure against the mountainous backdrop. There are, however, other sites to see and other things to do in the park. The south grove offers an exciting five-mile hike. There are also paths for mountain biking and spots that are perfect for bird watching. The Stanislaus River winds it way through Big Trees State Park. This body of water is a favorite among white water rafters. There are also two major campsites on the grounds.

The park hosts a number of activities specifically geared towards children. There are ranger talks and educational segments that help kids understand the importance of preserving the environment. There are even summer school programs that give students a chance to get out of the classroom and into the open air.

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