Protecting the Strawberry Rock Trail, in Perpetuity
The Land Trust is grateful for this opportunity to protect such a magnificent natural area. The Strawberry Rock Trail is one of Trinidad’s most popular destinations for a half-day hike in the redwoods, not to mention a rock climb to a stunning ocean view. It has become a destination day hike that brings tourism to the City of Trinidad, is valued by our community and has a positive impact our county’s tourism economy.
Although it is currently on private property, and when on the trial one is officially trespassing, for many years the landowners Green Diamond Resource Co. have taken a hands off approach to public use of this private trail. But this could change. The family-owned landholding company could subdivide, log or sell this publically valued property.
In January 2017, the Land Trust finalized negotiations and signed an option contract agreement with Green Diamond that, if funds are raised within three years, requires the purchase of a public use conservation easement and permanently protects about 45 acres including the redwood forest trail, a redwood forest grove (currently under an approved timber harvest plan) and the grandiose Strawberry Rock itself. The trail would be protected for general public use as well as traditional uses as recommended by the Trinidad Rancheria and Yurok Tribe. The Land Trust will need to raise approx. $750,000 to purchase the protective conservation easement. This trail could become an official ‘spur’ of the nearby California Coastal Trail.
This area was and is home to a Native American community that thrived on this coast, rich in natural resources. The Yurok People, specifically the residents of the Tsurai Village (located within the City of Trinidad), honored both ‘Strawberry Rock’ and ‘Potato Rock’ as special places that provided guidance and purpose to the people. Former Yurok Heritage Preservation Officer Robert McConnell stated “since time immemorial the place known as Strawberry Rock and surrounding lands have held high cultural significance to Yurok People.”
Potato Rock was demolished and became the quarry that provided the huge rocks that make up the north and south jetties of Humboldt Bay. Strawberry Rock remains as a significant inland seastack that can be seen from miles away. The view from Trinidad Head highlights the rock’s massive stature and the ancient connection between land and ocean. Today, the Yurok people are active members of our community that still visit and connect with Strawberry Rock.
The hike is not for the faint of heart, especially the final scramble up near-vertical rock walls to the top of the Rock. The climb up the rock itself begins up a near vertical 15-foot V in the rock wall, where some kind soul has left a rope to aid climbers. Visitors then shimmy around narrow ledges and up other steep sections to the lumpy top of the Rock itself. A recent round-trip took two reasonably able-bodies about 2-1/2 hours, including exploring under the redwoods and the required dawdling at the top of the Rock.
The Land Trust will submit grants for public agency funding and reach out to private foundations. CA State Parks and BLM are interested but currently have no funding. The Save-the-Redwoods League is a prospective partner. The Land Trust will also need to raise money for trail development and stewardship maintenance costs. A fundraising campaign has been established for this limited-time conservation easement trail acquisition opportunity. If you would like to contribute, or can recommend a fundraising opportunity, please contact us.ExhibitA1_Image_update
SRT article page1
SRT fact sheet_04-26-17
Strawberry Rock Press Release 1-20-17