Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park

Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park near Mendocino, California

The Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park may not look impressive, but it has a long history behind it. The land is part of an ecological staircase formed 500,000 to 1 million years ago and because of it’s shape the soil does not receive new nutrients. It is a tolerable for these trees and plants to live, but they don’t grow to their full potential. The trees are estimated to be 100 years old and only stand 6-8 feet tall. Some of the trees are taller because they broke through the lower parts of the soil to better nutrients. It was so surreal to know the trees around us had so much history. We made this our first stop one morning during our trip to Mendocino County, and it wasn’t crowded or hard to access. It was a nice break from some of our other more lengthly hikes. A quick tip is that the easier place to access it from is not near the main entrance, it’s near Little River Airport.

Van Damme State Park
8001 North Hwy 1
Little River, CA 95456

3 thoughts on “Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park

  1. It was definitely different! And the trees I expected to be these cute little “baby” versions of the big trees, totally not the case. They may not be tall, but they show their age well. I also found it interesting that they do not re-seed like a normal tree. Because of their stunted growth, the sees only fall off and spread via wildfire. Sorry, I’m totally nerding out here.

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