KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
As you ride the redwoods and nearby beaches, be alert for area hazards. High wind. Avoid old-growth forests during high winds; windstorms can blow down trees. Heavy branches can also fall from hundreds of feet above ground at high speed. Locally, these hazardous branches are known as widow-makers. Poison oak. Poison oak is native to most areas in California. All parts of the plant are toxic to those sensitive to its urushiol oil, which can cause an itchy rash. Ticks. Unfortunately, ticks carrying Lyme disease are now found in this region. After riding, check your clothing and body. For several days after riding, check your horse’s body under his jaw and neck and especially in his groin area. High surf. You can ride on the beach at Tolowa Dunes State Park. Check for storm and high-surf advisories, and be aware of high tide. Don’t be caught behind rocky points at high tide with no way out. Tide charts are available at all visitor centers. This area also has large sneaker waves that might strike unexpectedly. Tsunamis. Crescent City is the tsunami capital of the continental United States. Since 1933, 31 earthquake-caused tsunamis have hit the area. The primary cause is the Mendocino Fracture Zone combined with the area’s topography. In 2011, the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan devastated Crescent City’s harbor. If you feel an earthquake or see the ocean recede suddenly, move inland to higher ground.