Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail [CLOSED]

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Van Damme State Park

Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail is a 0.3 kilometer loop trail located near Little River, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and nature trips.

Distance: 0.3 km Elevation Gain: 1 m Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

nature trips

walking

forest

paved

wild flowers

wildlife

closed

no dogs

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options. Short nature hike through a grove of 100 year old trees stunted by poor soil conditions. You are about to see a forest where nature, practicing a form of bonsai, has created vegetation that is dwarfed and stunted. At the beginning of the trail, there are tall trees and the soils is under a layer of fresh leaves and needles and the decomposing litter of past years. This litter is acted on by fungi, bacteria, and other organisms and is becoming new soil, returning nutrients to the earth to support new plant life. As you enter the Pygmy forest, the trees are smaller and the soil is depleted of nutrients.

hiking
2 months ago

We love that we can read about the trees while on the elevated trail and continue our hike after. Parking in the parking lot is very limited though.

hiking
3 months ago

I enjoyed this short little nature walk. It was quiet and peaceful. The wooden walkway was nice. There are a lot of informative signs that explain the miniature trees.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice, easy, very informative trail. You go through a Pygmy tree forest.

Flat and well maintained trails with mild hills at times. Multiple biomes converging made for lively scenery

hiking
6 months ago

Short boardwalk hike - Pygmy forest history interesting for us and the kids. Added it onto the old logging trail hike

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike! Day pass for entry into Van Damme State Park is $8, best to bring exact cash as the station isn’t always manned. Hike goes up into the Pygmy Forest, a little underwhelming. (A Pygmy Forest is where the soil is acidic causing stunted growth of all trees/plants.) otherwise beautiful scenery and lightly trafficked.

hiking
Sun May 26 2019

Beautiful trail through ferns, huckleberry trees, and some tall redwoods.

nature trips
Sun Feb 26 2017

Very short but informative trail. Really interesting that some of those small trees are a couple hundred years ol but the soil restricts their growth.

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