So, were do Harley owners go for a joyride? No, it’s not the bar my dear! One perfect place to go is the Sequoia National Forest which is located at the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains and which is also home to the Giant Sequoia Trees. AMERiders tells you all about this sweet joyride.
What is a Sequoia?
Most Americans know what a Sequoia tree is and if you don’t you have been hiding most of your life so here is the short of it. They are the Earth’s most massive trees It’s hard to believe that a living thing can be so enormous and old. Also known as Sierra redwoods, the largest of these trees that live in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range could hold a stadium full of people.
Redwoods once grew throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest known redwood fossils date back more than 200 million years to the Jurassic period. Today, the last giant sequoia on Earth live on the land about the size of Cleveland (48,000 acres), in about 73 groves scattered along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The northernmost sequoia grows in Placer County in Tahoe National Forest, and the southernmost groves live in Giant Sequoia National Monument. The first widely publicized discovery of the giant sequoia was in 1852, at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. One of these trees, named the Discovery Tree, was unfortunately felled in 1853. It was determined to be 1,244 years old. Its stump was so large it was used as a dance floor.
Some sequoia groves were logged in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but not very successfully. The trees would often shatter when they hit the ground because of their brittleness and great weight. The leftover wood was used mainly for shingles and fence posts, or even for matchsticks, and therefore had little monetary value. Once Sequoia National Park was established, tourism brought a better incentive to protect the trees.
Some of the largest surviving giant sequoia groves can be seen in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and Yosemite National Park. Sequoias are found at elevations of 1,400–2,150 meters (4,600–7,050 feet) and can live to be 3,000 years old!
Location for this Joyride
Less than 35 miles away from Frandy Park Campground in Kernville, California, the Trail of a Hundred Giants features a half-mile path through groves of mature sequoia trees. Waking from a restless slumber due to revving engines and uproarious campers at the Kernville Kampout, the solitude of Sequoia National Forest’s mountain roads sounded like a safe haven.
Nestled between Interstate 395 and Highway 99, Kernville offers a variety of great riding for all motorcyclists. From CA-99, Highway 178 heads east to Kernville through a maze of hairpin turns and giant sweepers. From I-395, CA-178 takes you west to the hillside curves along the shore of Lake Isabella. Both routes are freshly paved and offer access to local sights like the Remington Hot Springs, but you will want to head north—away from the crowds. At the end of your joyride, you can tour the…..
Trail Of 100 Giants Trail (Long Meadow Grove)
Trail of 100 Giants offers an easy, accessible walk through the Long Meadow Grove, one of the premier groves of giant sequoias in our area. Along the trail, you’ll see impressively large giant sequoia trees, estimated up to 1,500 years old. A 1.3-mile paved trail has several loop options with interpretive signs for some of the highlights. Located on the Western Divide Highway (M 107), facilities include a paved parking area, restrooms, picnic area and Redwood Meadow Campground nearby. A $5.00 per vehicle fee is charged to help maintain and improve these facilities. The roads leading to the Trail are typically closed by snow during the winter months. (November thru April).
Though speed is coveted in our sport, there’s something rejuvenating about taking it slow.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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