Giant Forest Museum
NPS photo by Athena Demetry
The Giant Forest Museum, together with a connecting nature trail system leading to Round Meadow and vicinity, provides a basic introduction to the primary features of Giant Forest including its giant sequoias, meadows, and human history. The renovation of the historic Giant Forest market building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, began in 1999, and conversion to a museum and visitor center was completed in summer 2001.
Designed to serve as the starting point for visits to the grove, the Giant Forest Museum provides visitors the opportunity to learn the story of the giant sequoias and Giant Forest. Self-guiding interpretive trails lead from the museum to the Round Meadow and Hazelwood areas.
To support the museum, the Beetle Rock building was retained to serve as a classroom and auditorium for educational purposes, run by the Sequoia Natural History Association. The ranger residence and comfort station join the museum and Beetle Rock Educational Center as the only four buildings retained in Giant Forest.
SNHA Photo by Steven M. Bumgardner
Parking lots for the Giant Forest Museum, accommodating up to 240 vehicles, were constructed in the former Upper and Lower Kaweah areas on sites previously occupied by buildings and parking lots. Small, accessible parking lots and shuttle stops are provided at the Museum and Round Meadow. New comfort stations were installed in the Lower Kaweah and Round Meadow areas. Trails were rebuilt to connect the Museum and the Big Trees trail around Round Meadow. Trails were reconstructed using boardwalk, bridges, and split- rail fencing in sensitive locations to allow visitors to enjoy the meadow and big trees without adversely affecting soils, vegetation, wildlife, and natural drainage patterns.