by Glenn Franco Simmons
One of the most awe-inspiring trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is Cathedral Trail, sometimes referred to as Cathedral Trees Trail.
It is a renowned hiking trail that I have hiked countless times. I have seen spectacularly beautiful fern-covered slopes along this trail under the heavy canopy of the ancient redwoods.
“Known for the remarkable cathedral-like groves of ancient redwood trees it passes through, the trail offers visitors an opportunity to experience the grandeur of one of the world’s most-magnificent redwood groves,” according to AI-Pro.
It is a trail that I hiked on my first date with my lovely wife Kathleen.
“The trail begins near the park’s visitor center and winds through lush fern-lined groves, dense undergrowth and along the banks of scenic Prairie Creek. As hikers venture deeper into the trail, the beauty and majesty of the redwoods become increasingly apparent. The towering trees, some with diameters greater than 20 feet, create a serene and tranquil environment that captivates visitors and instills a sense of awe.
In terms of difficulty, the well-maintained but narrow two-mile-long roundtrip does have uphill sections. It also has thick roots in some sections of the trail, depending upon erosion from the previous winters. It takes one to two hours or more to walk, depending upon her pace and interest in taking in the ancient redwood ambience.
“Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is home to the largest remaining old-growth coast redwood forest on Earth, and the Cathedral Trail offers a glimpse into its magnificence,” according to AI-Pro. “The park’s management prioritizes the preservation of this delicate ecosystem, ensuring that future generations can continue to appreciate and be inspired by its natural beauty.”