Thursday, April 12, 2012
Avatar Grove is an amazing old-growth forest located in Port Renfrew. The collection of giant red cedars and Douglas firs are what bring people to this unmarked public grove. It also boasts Canada's gnarliest tree.
It was a little bit of an interesting drive just getting there. We had to drive over many one lane bridges some with very little keeping your car from plummeting over the edge. Once there it is up to you to do some bush whacking if you want to see anything of interest. First, however, you must lower yourself into the grove using a rope that someone has kindly attached. Then there is a lot of climbing over falling trees (and these are not small trees), ducking under trees, crawling through thick mud and pushing your way through bushes. Yes, it is a true wild forest.
It was beautiful. We only encountered one other group while on our hike out. It was peaceful. We listened to the river flowing by us, the birds in the trees and the wondrous rustle as the wind blew through that magnificent forest. Avatar Grove is an unprotected forest, it is not part of any provincial or regional park. It was once flagged to be logged, the flags are still there, but no cutting permit has been issued so for the moment it is still there. I hope for my daughter and her children, that no one ever cuts there. Old growth forests are precious and essential to our natural world. The Ancient Forest Alliance has been fighting to protect this forest. You can learn more about how you can help and directions for visiting the site on their website.