Campground: Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Hidden Springs and Burlington Campgrounds)

During a trip through the Redwoods it was recommended to us that we make a stop in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which is a pretty amazing place and we didn’t spend nearly enough time here. Only 1 night in fact, which meant we will be coming back here for sure in the future! There is so much to explore, and we didn’t get much of it done. I blame google maps in getting my planning right, but really, time was crunched with places we needed to be and this was meant as a stop over. Little did I know!

We started off with reservations at Hidden Springs. The campground is really beautiful, but somehow I chose one of 3 spots on the springs. As soon as I got out of the car, I was swarmed by mosquitoes (those little buggers sure like me, a whole lot more than I like them). The other issue I had with the place was that it was very hilly, which normally wouldn’t bother me too much, as the spots were flat. The issue lies in that laddy rode a balance bike at the time, with no brakes, and I was not sure I would be able to catch him before he hit the highway or the river. As that was his main source of entertainment, I thought we should go and find a flatter campground (which I knew there were very close by). I would stay here though, if he had brakes and in another spot. For reference, we were in spot 84. 84, 86 & 145 are all on the spring I was told. Other spots shouldn’t have as much trouble. This is the largest campground out of the bunch and it id drop dead gorgeous. There are showers here, as well as flushies. A good majority of the campground was closed while we were there, due to lack of folks in June. They were set to open up a few weeks later. They also have a great (I am told) fireside Ranger Program here so make sure you check that out.

In my attempt to follow google map’s directions to Hidden Springs, we came across the Burlington Campground, which is right next to the Visitor’s center. This is a much flatter campground and I saw only 2 mozzies, which didn’t bother me. We asked the nice lady at the office if she could accommodate a difficult camper (me) and let us switch our reservation to her campground. With the lack of people (school hadn’t gotten out yet), she didn’t have a problem with it. We were given space number 9. The one down side to this campground is that it is right on the main road. There was a Harley-Davidson ralley going on and the bikes are beautiful but loud. They were respectful at night though and we could hear some occasional traffic, but it wasn’t too bad.

DSC_2865One really great thing about this campground, it has some of the best natural play structures I have seen. After crying for nearly a half hour that we weren’t staying at the RV park with the big play structure (needed to dump my grey water, otherwise he would never have known about it!), Laddy spent the better part of 2 hours after our arrival playing in this redwood stump. I only got him down for dinner, and he as happy as a clam up there. Pretty sure he had more fun in that stump, than he would have at the play structure!

We spent a good deal of time at the Visitors Center. At first it was full of kids on a field trip (and I can see why they bring them here, there is so much to learn about!). You can make animal track in sand, there are lots of taxidermied animals and pelts to see and feel, there is lots of information about the big flood that happened, the precursor to our teardrops is there (in a 1920’s motor home made from a single redwood), and Laddy’s favorite thing – the microscope which allowed him to look at lots of things close up!

The visitor’s center also had some of the most knowledgeable folks we have come across at a State Park. These good people really know their park, and are considered “lifers”, which in this case, is a good thing. They were able to tell me all about the best hikes for kids, and what I shouldn’t miss. Sadly, I missed a lot of it, but now know better for next time!

Other activities in the area include lots of hiking, swimming in the river, driving through the Shrine Drive-thru Tree, or taking a drive where you can see some of the very largest trees in the world along the Avenue of the Giants.

One cool thing at the Shrine Drive Thru tree, are these little houses, carved out of Redwood stumps. Kids love them! The effort put into to carving the stumps was incredible. Little libraries and kitchens with stairs that lead to the second floor lets your mind run wild. You feel a bit like a hobbit or fairy living in the big woods.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a very cool place, and thanks to the Rockefellers, there is a lot of untouched landscape. The trees and undergrowth are as they have been for thousands of years. You will definitely want to spend a couple of days here, at least!
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