Our recent weekend getaway to Crescent City, California was lots of fun. Out first stop was a 30 minute drive to Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California.
Trees of Mystery is home to majestic and gigantic redwood trees as well as towering statues of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. Due to Covid-19, both of them were wearing masks.
Paul and Babe are American folklore legends like Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill and John Henry. Their stories are based on real men, the stories were so popular that they were spun into tall tales over the years.
The Trees of Mystery has recently launched a new attraction, suspension bridges. I was fearful that one or more of my children would refuse to walk across them and thereby cause “a scene”. There are a total of 8, one-way bridges. I’m happy to report that I was completely wrong and all 3 of them loved the bridges!
There are some really amazing trees here that are marked along the trails.
Once you have crossed the suspension bridges, and walked along the marked trail through the redwood trees, you can ride a gondola to a scenic overlook. We went during foggy weather, but on a clear day you can see the ocean from the top!
At the top of the hill you have the option of riding back down on another gondola or hiking downhill for 1 mile through the redwood forest on a very steep trail. It is advised that only experienced hikers in excellent physical condition choose the hiking option. We figured that we were close enough…
Seriously though, over the past two years our family has done a lot of hiking together. When we were living on the road in our RV, we went hiking almost every single weekend. Although I would hesitate to call ourselves experts, our kids have experience hiking in a variety of terrain, attitudes, and temperatures. If this is your first time taking your kids hiking; this is not a good hike for you. It was really steep and required the use of hand-”rail” ropes.
There are a stack of walking sticks at the trailhead and we recommend using them if you decide to brave the hike. You simply drop them off at the end of the trail. We were also very grateful for the ropes securely attached to the sides of the trail for the very very steep parts.
My husband and I both slipped on the loose dirt and rocks on the steep trail. He fell first and landed in a bush. I fell about 2 minutes later and landed in a pile of dust. Our youngest son (age 6) slipped and fell once as well. Our 2 older kids (ages 8 & 10) were ahead of us the entire hike and didn’t fall once. None of us was injured at all. To help repair our egos we walked the rest of the mostly flat trail to the gift shop and bought ourselves some salted caramel fudge!
“He rode through the woods on a big blue ox,
He had fists as hard as choppin’ blocks,
Five hundred pounds and nine feet tall…that’s Paul.
Talk about workin’, when he swung his axe
You could hear it ring for a mile and a half.
Then he’d yell “Timber!” and down she’d fall…for Paul.”