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Walks in Jackson State Forest

The 50,000-acre Jackson State Forest –- more or less surrounding Fort Bragg on the east — is a forest heavily logged over the past 150 years. Still, there are lots of remaining California redwood forest to explore, including some old growth redwoods. A newly-developed timber harvest plan, currently being implemented, will go a long way toward protecting these California Redwoods areas for future generations.

Michael Potts of Mendocino Walks has detailed 11 redwood hikes, including instructions for finding the trailheads, maps for navigating the trails, their degree of difficulty and trail mileage. Here is a description of those hikes with links to MendoWalks.org trail pages for more information.

EASY TO MODERATE WALKS (flat with some hills or easy hilly terrain)

 

•Hare Creek – logging road, not a loop. Appropriate for biking, hiking and horseback riding. Easy, almost flat. 8-11 miles.

•Bunker Gulch to Upper Hare Creek – Old logging road. Not a loop. Appropriate for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Fairly easy, almost flat, total elevation is 50 feet. 6.2 miles round trip.

Towering Redwoods by John Birchard / BirchardPhoto.com
Towering Redwoods by John Birchard / www.BirchardPhoto.com

•Forest History Trail – Single track trail. Moderately easy. 4 miles. This is a beautiful, narrow trail that is somewhat hilly but well graded and has benches along the uphill portions for resting. There are 45 trail markers.

•Berry Gulch – Part single track and part old logging road. Loop or shuttle. Easy 6 miles.

•Indian Springs – Logging road with gradual elevation of 400 feet. Moderately easy. 7 Miles round trip.

•Chamberlain Creek Trail and Camellia Trail – Single track trail on fairly hilly, but easy terrain. Moderately easy. Very gradual hills except last section of switchbacks on return to Road 200. Approximately 3 miles round trip.

•Caspar Creek North Fork – Single track trail in very good condition. Moderately easy except for steep climb of 600 feet at the end on return. 4+ miles round trip (2 miles and 3852 feet from START to NFC gauging station at the south end of the creek).

MODERATE TO DIFFICULT WALKS (due to elevation gain and length)

•Brandon Gulch to Volcano Point – This is a loop trail that is appropriate for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders. Motorized vehicles are not permitted the year around. Moderately difficult due to its length and elevation change. 8 miles and 2031 foot gain.

•Thompson Gulch and Manley Gulch Trails – Thompson Gulch trail is old logging road and Manley Gulch is single track trail. Moderate, several steep climbs. 5 miles.

•Trestle Trail – Single track trail following the North Fork of the South Fork of the Noyo River. Moderately difficult. Very hilly terrain from 400 to 1000 feet in elevation. Several creeks to jump or ford, depending upon the time of year. Lots of poison oak. 8. 4 miles round trip if doubled back. 6.2 miles one way if shuttle is set up.

•Park Gulch Trail – Part single track and part climb of old logging road. Loop. Moderate. 5.5 miles round trip.

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2 comments

  1. Judy Heffron

    I was shown a little area with magnificent trees near Ft Bragg and we parked in a lot of sorts and there was a sign that said Gentle Giants. I want to show my family this grove but don’t know the way from Ft. Bragg. It was an easy walk and perfect for me to get to these these again. Can you help?

    1. Gentle Giants trail is at Hendy Woods State Park in Anderson Valley.

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