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Monday, February 9, 2015

Bikers' Guide to the Redwood National Forest | A Redwoods Bike Trip

By Megan Maxwell 

The Redwood trees are the world’s tallest, and they are located in Humbolt County in Northern California. With accessible campgrounds, plenty of amenities, and the ability to customize your trip, the Redwoods are a great destination for a bike tour. Being from the Midwest originally, these were definitely the biggest trees I had ever encountered.  

redwoods bike trip

Where to Go: You can make this trip what you want it to be. Anything from an overnight trip to a week-long bike ride is doable. The Redwoods are close to Highway 101, so there are multiple points of access to begin your bike ride.

If you only have a short amount of time, I would suggest Avenue of the Giants. It is a 31-mile stretch of the historic Highway 101. While you can definitely do it in half of a day if you want, I would recommend going a bit slower. There are countless photo opportunities that must be taken advantage of. There are campgrounds to stay at and hiking trails in the area as well. Spending a couple of days in this section wouldn’t be a bad idea. Bring a bike lock, so you can venture off if you want to. 

redwood national forest bike trip
exploring on a fallen tree
If you have more time, start further north and spend some time biking through and exploring the Redwood National and State Parks. They stick pretty close to Highway 101 and there’s a good bus system in the area, so you should have an easy time getting there and getting around. 

IMG_0470.JPGWhere to Stay: The campgrounds in the Redwood area are spectacular. They can get a little crowded, but the campgrounds do offer hiker/biker sites so you never have to worry about not having a spot. I liked the campgrounds in the Redwoods because they always had good bathrooms and there were usually rangers around to answer questions.

One cool thing that many of the parks offered was night time education sessions. Campground guests were welcome to gather around the campfire and listen to whatever presentation was going on that night. I took part in an excellent session about local legends and Bigfoot stories. 

Where to Eat:
There’s plenty of convenience stores and restaurants in the area. Like any tourist attraction, the prices are higher than usual. I would suggest packing enough dinner and breakfast items for the duration of your journey, then stopping for snacks whenever you need them. You definitely won’t starve if you don’t pack enough food, but you will probably spend more money than necessary.