Explore the most popular walking trails in Smith River National Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
9 hours ago

It was a really nice, well maintained trail lined with beautiful wildflowers.
I did it in the pouring rain and the trees did a good job lightening the rain.
The only downside is that there’s no viewpoints or anything, though the flowers and misty woods make up for it.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful redwoods at the beginning!

on French Hill Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Nice trail, well maintained. Pretty flowers, lush forest in some areas. This is roughly 3 miles uphill, and 3 miles downhill. Great for some quick exercise, but no real views and the top is just a road. Great way to kill almost 2 hours and get your heart rate up. Seemed well used, passed 4 different groups of hikers.

Beautiful with lots of history and it even ends at the creek.

Great workout as the three miles there is all uphill via switch backs. The trail is very well maintained and nice views in a few places. Expected the end of the trail to be at a lookout, not a Mt. road but still a nice hike. My 8 year old hiked this with me and we ran some of the trail on the way down. Will do it again for sure. This is a six mile hike there and back. Not sure why it says 4.8 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

Great view on top, highly recommend. Good time to visit would be in spring or summer, you can prob do it in fall and winter but just be careful of rain or snow.

Beautiful trail but be ready for a workout!!!!

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Hard a first. A lot of uphill the first half mile. The end is worth it. Being right on the river is great. Dogs are also allowed. It is posted on the state park website.

backpacking
6 months ago

My hubby and I backpacked to the campsite and stayed for a night. It was very quiet and beautiful. Saw lots of dwarf irises, and banana slugs. I liked how lush the campsite was. We didn't see any bears. We didn't see any other hikers until we were headed down.

hiking
7 months ago

Not a difficult hike, but probably wouldn't recommend it with small children only because you have to walk looking down a lot due to a lot of roots that grew threw the trail. If you're not paying attention you're likely to trip. My husband and I enjoyed this trail very much especially because it ended at the creek. We also saw a deer on the trail

backpacking
7 months ago

Beautiful

This is not a challenging hike, but is more for plant lovers who enjoy walking slowly and paying attention to all of the diverse species growing along this short trail. I saw carnivorous pitcher plants, wild ginger and plenty of ferns. One plant I did not see was poison oak. I took my dog, he enjoyed it too!

hiking
8 months ago

This trail follows south fork of the Smith a few hundred feet above the river along the slope of the canyon. Highlights include diverse plant life, occasional views of the river and the verdant green slopes of the canyon. I also heard shooting and I think there's a shooting range on the other side of the river. The poison oak is present along the whole trail but gets much worse the last half mile stretch before the river. I took my dog on this trail since I didn't see any postings saying otherwise. It's a good hike for dogs since there don't seem to be too many in the area. I did this hike on a beautiful September day. I was surprised with how much running water there was. Really nice to see.

hiking
8 months ago

Started this today... Pretty hot and a bit smoky. The farther I went the more I heard gunshots in front of me. Either it's deer season or there were poachers or maybe even target practicing.... but I've learned when I get that gut feeling to listen, so I reversed and didn't finish. Nice trail that I'll go back and finish another time. Plenty of poison oak on this one. Time for me to get out the Tecnu!

hiking
10 months ago

The trail was beautiful. Lots of wild life , including bears .

hiking
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Started the hike at 10:30 am and the temp was 36 degrees. It probably was colder at the top around 01:00 pm. Any time the trail was exposed it was frozen. Pretty crunchy... The trail climbs about 1600' and out and back to the park boundary is 10 miles. The climb is steady but never really that steep. It's a very steady ascent for about 4 miles. I really enjoyed the trail's variety. The 1st mile or so are nice but small redwoods compared to the rest of the park. After that you go through a lot of different types of forest. The only real negative to me was some parts of the trail had gravel and I much prefer natural surfaces. I never saw another hiker and was very surprised I didn't see Elk or Deer even though I saw signs that they're there. It will be one of my go to hikes in the future and one I highly recommend.

hiking
Friday, November 11, 2016

If you don't really like to hike hills don't do this one....... this is just one hill nearly 3 miles long. The only flat part is the top 1/16 of a mile. It's an excellent hike for conditioning which is why I chose to do it. The trail is challenging for most and may be on the top end of moderate and is in very good shape. It's probably best done in the fall and winter. It's structured well enough it could also be done in the rain. There were several little creeks that my lab Brook really enjoyed... There are a couple of places with very nice views as well. #267

hiking
Monday, October 31, 2016

Did this and the nearby Wellman Trail today. This is a very easy trail that is a little unusual because much of it runs along a ditch because it was an old gold mining operation. This is an excellent trail for someone not use to hiking much. Pretty gentle with only a little altitude gain at the very beginning... Brook, my lab, loved this trail because of all the little waterfalls and feeder creeks. She didn't miss any...

trail running
Friday, October 07, 2016

A good training hill for trail ultramarathons. Definitely a 3 mile trail one way. Great trail! Well built and holding up well. Extremely runnable.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The first three miles, from Hwy 199 to French Hill Rd, are up hill all the way. After not doing much hiking through the winter this was a quite a workout. But it felt great to get to the top and the views are nice.

hiking
Saturday, February 20, 2016

We were hiking to the backcountry campground but it was dark already, so I missed most of scenery going up. It was a whole different adventure going in the dark. Very eerie, extremely quiet. Didn't see anybody on the trail or at the campground, but this was late November. This is NOT a redwood area, but still very pretty. It isn't easy in the least bit. Literally uphill the entire way with a steep incline. Add backpacking gear to that and you have a great workout. We saw some people while going down the next morning.

mountain biking
Saturday, September 20, 2014

Love this trail. My husband and i are just getting back into biking but this trail is awesome it is a butt kicker with a beautiful view. We havent yet completed it yet but we are getting closer to the end.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What a great conditioning hike.... Very peaceful hike! Power walked up, ran down!

mountain biking
Thursday, July 25, 2013

I went into the bike shop in crescent and the owner told me about this trail. He said it was a great trail so I said what the heck I have time. So I ran up and started to climb the trail. The trail has an intense uphill that at points made me walk my bike. I got to the top and walked around for a bit just resting then I started down and it is such a great downhill I went up a second time.

hiking
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We did this hike from the bottom to the top, 8 miles round trip. Within the first 100 feet there is a creek that we had to take our shoes off to cross. I'm sure the creek is seasonal and could easily be crossed outside of spring. The entire hike is 4 miles of sustained uphill followed by a 4 mile decent. The best views are at the top at the summit and the meadow which can be reached much easier from the top trail head. I would recommend taking trekking poles for this hike and save your knees. The trail guide says there is camping at the summit but the single campsite is build on rock chips making for a miserable place to pitch a tent. If camping bring an extra sleep pad or a hammock (there are trees at the summit).

camping
Friday, March 08, 2013

I asked a ranger, when I got into the park, how busy this trail was. Her response was, "Well, every few days a ranger will drive up the service road to check it out." That intrigued me. I did not see a single soul on my 2 days out there. I was solo backpacking, planning a 2 night trip (mosquitos at the boy scouts camp changed my mind and I hike out after 1 night). The trail wasn't too impressive, most of the time I hiked along a vehicle-sized service road. But the scenery can't be beat. Old growth redwood forests started and finished the loop while the sparse vegetation at the higher elevations allowed for absolutely amazing views in all directions. Oh, and I don't know if it was more scary or cool at the time, but looking back I vote for cool...I saw 4 bears on this trip. A super large male walking along the same trail I was, and a female with her 2 cups that she sent running up a tree. I hurried along before she became too wary of me. Beautiful place. I also hiked 2 or 3 of the day hike grove trails. Amazing place.

hiking
Saturday, August 11, 2012

A six mile round trip. The 1st half ascends gently via switchbacks. The views are obstructed by the trees. Watch out for poison oak bordering the trail. We saw a few banana slugs and a young bird of prey during the walk.

hiking
Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lots of poison oak at the lower trail head. If you're sensitive be careful!

hiking
Saturday, August 11, 2012

An easy walk through the woods. There are 16 interpretive stops along the way with historical info in addition to plant info. Good news is minimal to no poison oak.

hiking
Friday, August 26, 2011

Rented a house on a creek and spent 5 days hiking trails in and around REdwood National Park - an absolutely must-do for anyone who is awed by nature.

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