Hike America: Northern California
by Dan Brett (The Globe Pequot Press)
© Dan Brett/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.
Great trail. Walked up the coastal trail 2 miles north or so and then cut across the dunes to the beach for a long lunch before walking back down the beach to fern canyon to continue the loop. It was a warm sunny day and made this a perfect day hike.
You will have the wide beautiful beach to yourself if you do this! It is well worth the extra miles.
The James Irvine trail has been rerouted up out of the valley floor part of the way, and this is the last year you will be able to use the entire original trail.
Excellent trail. Well Maintained. The Park has done a good job of clearing out the storm damage in fern canyon.
Parked at the beach parking lot at the foot of Fern Canyon, then walked back down the road to the beginning of the Miner's Loop Trail. Followed that up to the Clintonia Trail, then to the James Irvine. So, we saved the BEST for last-(the canyon and creek) AND, we pretty much had the whole trail to ourselves. It was incredibly serene and awe inspiring! Make sure to look for the upside down tree in the creek. It's really quite incredible!
Unfortunately, at this time the James Irvine Trail is closed where it joins the Fern Canyon loop mile-long trail. However, that is not to say that it cannot still be enjoyed as an out and back experience. The bridge is out where the trail crosses the top of Fern Canyon. Interesting, but where this bridge is out there is a foot diameter redwood root crossing over the canyon (depth of 30-40 feet, steep walls) which I am sure some hikers must chance to get across. Pretty amazing place. The Fern Canyon is especially a treat of deep green, fern-lined walls with a gravel floor and stream that is full of frogs and small fish. Real entertainment for kids!. Can be reached via Davidson road to Gold Bluff Beach.
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