Fern Canyon Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Mendocino County, California. It is within Russian Gulch State Park. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 29 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 441 feet. Near the end of the trail is a bicycle parking.
Fern Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Similar to Van Damme State Park’s Fern Canyon just a few miles south of here, Russian Gulch State Park’s Fern Canyon Trail is paved, flat, easy, and incredibly gorgeous. And because it’s free of motor vehicles, it makes a perfect outing for families and anyone wanting a leisurely ride. As a 3.2-mile out-and-back (1.6 miles each way), this trail has virtually no elevation change, and because you stay on the paved trail, you’d really have to work hard to get lost."
--Linda Austin, Mountain Bike! Northern California (Menasha Ridge Press).
"With its gurgling alley of green in a verdant canyon, Van Damme State Park provides an easy sampling of the lush ecosystem found just inland from the coast. The highlight is Fern Canyon, a small gorge 400 feet deep that shelters Little River and a lush, regenerating redwood forest. A diminutive coastal river barely 5 miles long, Little River provides critical habitat for coho salmon, steelhead, and a variety of other wildlife. Logged during the late 19th century, the forest has since rebounded to impressive dimensions with only gigantic decaying stumps to remind hikers of the past."
--Matt Heid, 101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore (Wilderness Press).
"Van Damme State Park was named for the son of a Flemish immigrant who prospered in the logging trade, moved to San Francisco to operate a ferry, and eventually relocated back to the stunning beauty of Little River. The 1,830-acre reserve harbors a rich ecological diversity, including coastal beach and headland, second-growth redwood forest, riparian zone, and, most unique of all, a pygmy forest. This 9-mile, semiloop trip samples this diversity following Little River through aptly named Fern Canyon before climbing into redwood uplands to a pocket of pygmy forest. The return portion descends into a serene canyon bearing Little River’s headwaters."
--Mike White, Top Trails Northern California’s Redwood Coast (Wilderness Press).
"This pleasant hike begins and ends at one of a small handful of publicly accessible pygmy forests in the state. From here it plunges down into a deep ravine clothed in mature second-growth redwoods to the headwaters of the Little River. After a stretch along the lush riparian streamside, the trail climbs steeply and returns to the trailhead via an old logging road, now closed to vehicle traffic."
--Dan Brett, Hiking the Redwood Coast (Falcon Guides).
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