EUREKA, Calif. (AP) – Fans of a popular grove of redwood trees in far Northern California are racing to fund a project that would help protect the area from hordes of visitors.

The Times-Standard of Eureka reports fans of the Grove of Titans in Del Norte County are trying to raise $500,000 for a dollar-for-dollar match grant. The deadline is Dec. 31.

The grove was largely a secret until the quest to find it became a popular adventure shortly after a 1998 research project inspired a book that contained clues about its location.

Park officials say photos of the grove posted online with GPS coordinates around 2011 opened the floodgates to visitation. The grove now sees up to 13,000 cars a month.

The funds being raised are for an elevated walkway to the grove.