Explorer | 30 pts
This is an easy trail that offers a chance to experience amazing array of microclimates inside a Pacific coast rain forest. The old growth trees - Douglas Fir, Sycamore and many others will amaze hikers, as will the fallen giants new trees are sprouting in and those cleared by trail crews after storms. It is truly awe inspiring to hike past not one or two but many downed trees that are 4-5 feet in diameter.
The trail is in good repair as of this writing, with some tricky footing from well-intentioned trail maintenance that I found to be more trouble than help. Some of the beginning sections are covered in asphalt in what is presumably the state parks attempt to make the trail less muddy. The reality is that the asphalt heaves and cracks in places, making for a lot of stumbling if you don''t watch your feet because you''re admiring the views and the rain forest.
There are several places along the trail that offer spectacular vistas of the ocean and Smugglers Cove.
All in all, a good day hike for those visiting or camping at Oswald West State Park who aren''t there for the sea kayaking or boogie boarding or who need a break from that.