The Eternal Tree House is a fascinating stop on the Avenue of the Giants, a one-time natural colossus that stood for more than 2,500 years before being reduced to a surviving stump. The still-living stump contains a huge cavern caused by fire centuries ago. It had been used first by Indians and later trappers, hunters, travelers and their livestock for shelter. In the early 1900s, Harry McLeod, an expert wood splitter, hewed out the interior with an ax and adz. The 20-foot room was refined in 1950 and a gift shop was established inside the stump. The walls still bear the marks of the work and are mementos of an all but lost art. The tree itself is said to have parented many surrounding trees from its burl. A burl is a hard conglomerate of many dormant buds; an original single bud grew, but failed to develop into a branch. The irregular growth then divided and redivided until a lump (burl) formed. Sometimes the overgrowth is actually a form of scar tissue, resulting from a past injury to the tree.
The Eternal Tree House offers free admission, a cafe and a gift shop with a large selection of locally crafted redwood products. There is parking for RVs and buses.