State Parks Funding

Calaveras Big Trees park reopened today

Calaveras Big Trees State Park reopened today after being closed since a wind storm on Dec. 1 caused heavy damage from fallen trees.

None of the park's treasured giant Sequoia trees were felled by the storm, which brought winds exceeding 80 mph. But the entrance station and an employee house were damaged by fallen trees and are now being repaired.

The park along Highway 4 in Calaveras county had 70 trees knocked down in the North Grove Campground alone, smashing picnic tables, food storage boxes, and small bridges, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Many more trees came down in other areas of the park, including one that crushed a boardwalk on the North Grove Trail.

"This extreme, yet natural event did not harm the overall ecological resources of the park," Patty Raggio, a State Parks environmental scientist, said in a statement.

The North Grove area of the park is once again open to the public. The rest of the park is closed for the season, as is normal during winter.

There are still miles of fire roads and tons of debris to be cleared. Some trees opened craters in paved roads when they fell.

For more information, call the park visitor center at 209-795-7980 or visit the state parks website.