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The Fern Creek Loop is one redwood adventure in Van Damme State Park
The Fern Creek Loop is one redwood adventure in Van Damme State Park

Less than 30 minutes from downtown Fort Bragg is the Pygmy Forest parking lot — jumping off point for an incredible walk through Van Damme State Park’s Fern Canyon. As the name implies, there are ferns everywhere. And where you find ferns in these parts, you also find California redwoods. This is a wonderful 5.5 mile loop that anyone in reasonable good condition can take.

You walk 2.3 miles across bridges, over creeks and under redwoods to an jumping off point that takes you back to the Pygmy forest parking lot or on another 3 miles to the campground and ocean beyond. If you stay on the loop, remember that what does down, must go up.

But if you’re in no hurry, then this is a great place to wander for a couple of hours. Better yet, bring a picnic and sit awhile.

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