Carolyn worked as a technical writer, software user interface designer, and writes about children's lit, the American West, and investing.
Visit Lady Bird Johnson Grove During a Vacation to Northern California
Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a great destination amid an entire region dedicated to the redwood forest experience. Near Orick, in northern California, Lady Bird Johnson Grove showcases massive three hundred-foot trees in old-growth forest. The 1-mile loop nature walk with hollow trees reminiscent of Tolkien's elf-dwellings has a sense of scale that is difficult to describe. The interpretive trail has 13 numbered stops along the way explaining a bit about the ecology and history of the redwoods.
My children enjoyed exploring in and around the hollow trees, pretending each one was their own special tree dwelling. This is a great, frugal stop on your Northern California road trip.
We took much longer than average to complete the loop, because we stopped to read all of the information and took way too many photographs. It is an easy trail, and wheelchair accessible.
A Frugal Destination
We were shocked that Lady Bird Johnson doesn't require a service entrance fee. We spoke with the park's representatives at the nearby Orick interpretive center, and they told us that a large corporation had provided free entry to all park-goers.
An Easy Day Trip from Nearby Patrick's Point State Park
We broke camp at nearby Patrick's Point State Park and drove to Lady Bird Johnson Grove along California's Pacific Coast Highway 101. This was one scenic drive with a stop at the interpretive center in Orick.
One thing you will not find along the way is fast food, so be prepared with a picnic lunch, snacks, and something to drink.
Lady Bird Johnson's Legacy
Lady Bird Johnson was America's first lady as the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. This first lady was a strong advocate for preserving the treasures of our nation through the national park system. At the foot of the towering tree that stands as her monument, I couldn't help but think that this living emblem was a greater monument than any mausoleum made from marble or carved stone. It is astonishing to think that large parts of our nation and areas of Europe were once covered in old growth forests like these!
Educational to See the Impact of Logging
As parents you sometimes wonder if the experiences you have together as a family make an impression on your kids. Part of the drive to Lady Bird Johnson is up a steep and winding logging road where logging companies are actively removing trees.
A year after our visit to this site, my 4th grade daughter wrote, as a school assignment, a bill to limit the number of trees that can be removed by loggers. She believes that trees are a precious resource that must be replaced by logging companies. I didn't suggest this project. She thought it up after our visit to see the redwoods.
Stay In Nearby Patrick's Point State Park
- California Road Trip: Patrick's Point State Park
This Northern California State Park is a local treasure, and a great place to camp while exploring the nearby California redwoods.
Where is Ladybird Johnson Grove?
Elmar Pastor, Germany on April 25, 2011:
Die Lady Bird Johnson Grove ist ein wunderschöner Stück Natur in diesen unglaublich großartigen und interessanten Redwoods im Norden Kaliforniens.
Wir waren im Laufe der Jahre schon mehrfach dort und freuen uns schon jetzt auf unseren nächsten Besuch des Lady Bird Johnson Trails im Juni 2011.
Carolyn Augustine (author) from Iowa on March 12, 2011:
Thanks Delores, my children loved this trip. When you visit I recommend you stay in Patrick's Point State Park and take an excursion to Ladybird Johnson Grove. There are loads of other great places to stay, too, but so much interesting diverse terrain to discover. We had a wonderful time. I was deeply touched by the Ladybird Memorial there at the park, too.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 12, 2011:
Visiting the redwoods in California is a dream trip of mine. And Lady Bird is my all time favorite First Lady - I loved her campaign to keep America Beautiful.