The range of Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) extends into the extreme southwest corner of Oregon. While the groves found in Oregon are not as impressive as those in the state parks in northern California, it is still worth a visit to see these massive trees.
This is one of the trees along the Oregon Redwood Trail. From Brookings, drive south along Hwy 101 to Winchuck River Road. Turn east for two miles, then cross the river on Forest Service Road 1101. Follow this narrow gravel road for four miles to the trailhead. A more easily accessible grove is found at the Redwood Nature Trail, located on North Bank Chetco River Road about eight miles east of Brookings, but this grove has been closed to public access in an effort to reduce the spread of Sudden Oak Death. The Redwood Nature Trail is scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2010.
It is often the case that the most scenic areas are not necessarily the birdiest. Birds seen in the redwoods are often limited to Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and Winter Wrens. With a little luck, you can find Varied Thrush, Hermit Warbler, and Pileated Woodpecker. Vaux’s Swifts fly above the forest. At dawn during the nesting season, listen for the harsh call of Marbled Murrelets as they leave their nests in the forest to forage on the ocean.
Banana Slugs are among the more easily approached species of wildlife in the forest. I’m not sure what these two were doing on the wall of the restroom at the trailhead. I’m guessing we are witnessing either mating behavior or an act of canibalism.