Fallen Redwoods Prompt Closure of Scenic Parkway to Vehicles, Not Pedestrians, Cyclists

Steve Chaney, National Park Service Superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks, stands on one of the fallen old growth trees | Photo Courtesy Jeff Bomke, the California State Park Superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks

Several coast redwoods fell this morning, blocking a popular scenic drive in Redwood National and State Parks. No one was reported hurt, and it could take at least a week to clear the old growth trees--one which is over eight feet in diameter--off the 10-mile Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway.

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Why the trees fell is still a mystery. Officials close the parkway during high-wind events, but this morning was a nice day with little wind, according to Candace Tinkler, who drove the road this morning shortly before the fall, which occurred sometime between 9:15 and 10:15 a.m.

Tinkler, who is the park's Chief of Interpretation and Education, said the closure presents a rare opportunity for pedestrians and cyclists to travel several miles of the parkway without the presence of vehicles (like a nature version of CicLAvia in Los Angeles or Sunday Streets in San Francisco!).

On the north, the parkway is closed about a half mile from the 101 Freeway. Campgrounds, parking, the visitor center and many area trails are still accessible via the parkway from the south entrance along the same freeway (map).

The parkway is just one of the many scenic drives available in the parks. Seven other options are listed here.

Previously: Watch Two Giant Sequoia Trees Fall to the Ground (Video)

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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My wife and I along with two friends wittnessed these tress falling. We were south bound about a block away when the first tree started falling very slowly. After tipping around 10 degrees or so the second, third, and fourth followed. It looked like the beginings of a landslide so we started backing up. Once it was all over and we walked over to the trees we could still here the trees settling to the ground with a crack here and some dirt falling there. I would like to send our pictures if I only new how.