Be sure to save Saturday morning June 15th at 10am for the official opening of Phase 1 of the Rockaway Beach Old Growth Cedar Preserve.
This preserve began as a gift from The Nature Conservancy in 2000. And with a grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development, the deck around the giant cedar was built to protect the tree and its roots.
The giant Western red cedar is estimated to be between 500 to 900 years old and is 154 ft tall, 49 ft around.
The recently completed ADA accessible boardwalk extends 1/4 mile (1,443 feet) through the wetlands to a viewing platform; then a 1/4 mile foot path leads to the Western red cedar.
In 2007, the group Ascending The Giants (https://www.facebook.com/ascendingthegiants/) officially measured the tree and with their rating system, gave it 756 points, 130 points higher than the previous Oregon state champion.
The 46 acre Old Growth Cedar wetlands was given to Rockaway Beach in September 2001 as a unique ecosystem to preserve. Containing high quality and in some cases, rare examples of trees unique to the preserve. It is the only type of preserve between Alaska and California for the purpose of protecting a tree. The preserve includes an upland as well as a lowland forest and includes Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar and Red Alder.
There are two streams flowing through the wetlands, Saltair Creek and Heitmiller Creek. The creeks converge just southwest of the viewing platform and flow underneath the boardwalk next to the trail to the Big Cedar.
The trail is rugged and should be taken with caution. Phase 2 of the project will provide a boardwalk connecting the viewing platform to the Big Cedar and a replacement deck around the tree.
A video overview of the project: https://youtu.be/SrzJAQ5Dq_8
Here is a pdf with some history of the project: