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Cross-Section of Time.

Redwood Cross-Section of Time

Field review by the editors.

Felton, California

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park displays a big redwood slab sheltered under a wooden roof. As we've seen in other California big tree parks, an immense slab cut from a fallen tree serves as an ideal visual aid for showing the extreme age of big trees. Labels have been attached to point out the specific ring of tree growth occurring during a significant event.

The big slabs had become controversial. As politics and sensitivities evolved, control of the heritage narrative became important to convey on history timelines, with appropriate milestones for visitors to feel good about. The metal labels touting Columbus "discovering" America or various Eurocentric conquests have been removed. The current mix of labels include relatively non-violent and newly added non-European events, nods to California's ethnicity, and even self-referential big tree moments. 1215 - Magna Carta signed! Meanwhile, this redwood in a distant forest grew wider by a 16th of an inch.

Cross-Section of Time.

A sampling of human milestones during the life of this tree:

  • Year 1: Birth of Jesus/Modern Calender (sic) begins
  • 105: Chinese invented paper
  • 455: Mayan City Chichen Itza founded
  • 919: Gunpowder discovered in China

and further on:

  • 1440: First Printing Press invented
  • 1769: First mission established in San Diego

The timeline also tells us that Big Basin was established as a state park in 1902, and that this tree fell in 1934 in Humboldt County (it spent most of its career at Big Basin Redwood State Park, and moved here in 2001).

Travelers should take time to examine every Cross-Section of Time they encounter, because no two committee-vetted, politically-correct slabs are exactly the same (yet). For example, the Magna Carta was scrubbed off the slab in Muir Woods, but it is still featured here.

Also see: Muir Woods Cross-Section of Time

Redwood Cross-Section of Time

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

101 North Big Trees Park Rd, Felton, CA
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. San Jose - Hwy 17 south toward Santa Cruz. After mountain summit, turn right on Mt. Hermon Road. Follow until it ends at Graham Hill Rd. Turn right, at next stop light turn left on Highway 9, through downtown Felton, then 1/2 mile to park entrance. Drive to large parking area, enter woods near gift shop. Slab visible ahead where the trail splits.
Day use sunrise - sunset. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Bigfoot Discovery MuseumBigfoot Discovery Museum, Felton, CA - < 1 mi.
Redwood BullRedwood Bull, Felton, CA - < 1 mi.
Tallest Covered Bridge in the USATallest Covered Bridge in the USA, Felton, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Dinosaurs of Spanish Town, Half Moon Bay, CA - 36 mi.

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