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Big River Trail is a 16 mile out and back trail located near Mendocino, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and canoeing. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 16.0 mi Elevation gain 564 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Mountain biking Paddle sports Beach River Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This area also offers great kayaking and paddle boarding.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (140)
Photos (78)
Recordings (132)
Completed (199)
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Cathy Barr
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Hiking
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Chistopher Durrett
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Hiking
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Michael Canino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
Paddle sportsGreat!

Great kayaking, seal, otters and osprey. Watched a seagull fish out a crab and eat it.

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Elizabeth Joan MacDougall
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Paddle sports
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Amanda L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 25, 2020
Mountain bikingGreat!

Wide flat trail- old logging road. Good for an easy out and back bike ride. I have a hybrid bike that did great. Went on a sunny Saturday morning. Not too many people when we started around 10am but saw more people on our way back around 11am. Recommend going early to avoid crowds. Large parking lot shared by beach and trail. Trail starts by the bathrooms.

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Terry Keyzer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking

Very easy. Wide road. Took an off shoot trail 3/4 up which was a good incline. Beware of mosquitoes on the trail.

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Jennah Booth
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Hiking
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Luis Gael Jimenez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

The river that runs alongside the trail is stunning but after a few miles in, it become harder and harder to see. The trail itself is wide and level pretty much the whole way. The end of the trail on AllTrails is weird because it takes you halfway up a random hill for seemingly no reason before stopping abruptly halfway up the hill. All in all, the beginning of the trail is the best part. Because it’s an out and back though, it’s cool to come back and hang by the river— it’s gorgeous.

Comment from AllTrails

- 1 month ago

Thanks for the review, Luis! We have updated the route accordingly. Still see something wrong? Please write us at support@alltrails.com!

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Nathaniel Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 12, 2020
Mountain biking

Easy bike trail that followed the river’s shoulder in and out of Redwood Groves! At the beginning of the trail, there is a slight upgrade for five miles! At that point, we turned around and rode down! Downhill was fast and windy! We’ll be back!

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Erin W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 17, 2020

It's fine. If you're an experienced/regular hiker it will probably be boring as it's essentially just a flat dirt path. If you don't hike or exercise much and happen to be in the area, it's an easy way to get outside for a bit. I plan on coming back to kayak but probably won't take the trail again.

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Juliana Cherry
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Walking

January 2020 after several days of rain, I returned to the trail. Wonderful! Cool weather, easy grade, and friendly faces along the trail.

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Nick Fox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2020
Hiking

Scenic walk along the river. We added a 3.2 mile loop before taking the river walk back. The loop was a gorgeous walk through the redwoods.

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Juliana Cherry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 9, 2019
Hiking

Easy 3.0+ walk (and then the same distance back). Lovely views of the river from a haul road. During our winter walk, I did see a misquote! and dog-walkers, bicyclists, families ...

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Karen Peterson
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HikingBugs

Easy trail that is well maintained. The mosquitoes attack at about mile 3.

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D. Michael Wassom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 11, 2019
HikingBugs

A nice walk down an old logging road with very occasional views of the river. If you want to see the river, I’d consider renting a kayak. For the most part this trail is a tree lined road with little elevation change and a lot of mosquitos. It’s not a bad trail.... there are just so many that are better. It might make for a real nice bike ride.

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Elizabeth Joan MacDougall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2019
Mountain biking

we were on our electric bikes - it was a perfect day. at the furthest point from the start was a place that was really overgrown, full of mosquitoes and we were stopped from going further because the river interrupted the trail. plus we would have had to descend about a 20 ft. trail drop into the river, and didn't see any trail on the other side of the river.

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Mark Cohen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2019
HikingBugs

Relatively flat trail (actually more of a gravel/dirt fire road) that parallels the river. Lot of wildflowers along the trail and nice views of the river. Dogs allowed as well which is cool. Great for a walk, trail run or easy mountain bike ride. Only negative is the bugs - there were tons of mosquitos the day we went (early June)! First mile was fine but after that the mosquitos were overwhelming.

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Kris Adams
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HikingBugs
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Jeff Koubek
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Hiking

with packs

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Jeff Koubek
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HikingBugs

Great trail / fire road that connects to many other trails and parks. Trails off Big River Trail not marked. You could pick up nice durable map 'Mendocino Trails' across the river at Catch a Canoe & Bicycles Too. At Pole Line intersection and Oxbow Marsh mosquitoes swarmed me. I swatted a few with the map then ran.

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John Marton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 30, 2019
Hiking

Nice March hike. About 2 miles in, we went off on a side trail that was a single track and gave the hike some elevation. The side trail eventually led us onto a residential street and put us on Hwy 1, about a 1/4 mile north of the entrance to the beach area. No mosquitos that were bothersome this time of year.

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amber anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 1, 2019

Note sure what is considered the actual trail but this trail goes much longer than the 5.7 there and back. Signage at the front shows the trail going at least 9 miles out on way. (Added photo gallery)

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Laura Cunningham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 15, 2018
Hiking

Just so many mosquitos. We got destroyed by mosquitoes despite being doused in Deet. Don’t go father than a mile out and you’ll be ok, but any further and be prepared to get bitten all over by literally thousands of them.

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N G
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so pretty

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Eric Wunsch
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Beautiful, flat, out and back, along Big River estuary. Lots of mosquitoes, in summer, so bring repellent.

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Dennis Kolb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 11, 2018
Hiking

From Main Street you can walk between the Presbyterian Church & Chevron Gas Station and pick up trail to the beach. Journey down the staircase to beach. Easy trail you can walk to the head of river it along the beach West. Be aware of tide changes especially if you start walking to headlands. Many seals can be seen tracing down river near its month especially during out and slack tide.

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Casey Hatton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 21, 2018
Mountain biking

Very peaceful, mostly level ride. However, we rode past the 6 mile marker and the trail made no indications it was ending. So I am not sure how much farther it goes. Beautiful scenery including trees, river, birds ,etc.

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N G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 18, 2018

super pretty river surrounded by redwoods. can go on for a long ways!

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Erasmus Device
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2018
Hiking

Construction complete. Trail open 1/20/18. New gravel down along primary and secondary trails, still some storm runoff and standing water, all easily passable, but be prepared. New bridge as well. Cold sunrise start but a great day hike. Look for river otter activity and listen for the woodpeckers.

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Cliff Harlow
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 19, 2017

Trail closed under construction 11/18 2017

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