Northern California is famous throughout the world for towering redwood trees that grow to be hundreds of feet tall. There are other trees in the area, however, that cannot grow to a height of even 10 feet, or much thicker than an inch wide. To experience this Lilliputian and Brobdingnagian contrast for yourself, take a trip to Van Damme State Park’s Pygmy Forest, located off Hwy 1 three miles south of Mendocino. The natural conditions of the soil are believed to be the cause of the stunted growth in these cypress and pine trees, found less than a mile away from the mighty redwoods. It’s amazing that these trees can grow under such adverse conditions and yet manage to remain alive. When some of these tiny trees have been cut down, more than 80 to 100 growth rings have been carefully counted. If you are in the area and have already been wowed by the remarkable redwood towers that soar into the heavens, you should also check out the Pygmy Forest and be astonished by the very existence of these tiny trees.
Next Up: #32 – Caspar Headlands State Beach