Fall Creek to Lime Kilns Trail

EASY 209 reviews

Fall Creek to Lime Kilns Trail is a 4.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Felton, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 744 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

river

views

blowdown

historic site

no dogs

Visit the industrial legacy of the Bay Area amid a lush redwood forest north of Santa Cruz. There's not much left of the 19th century lime processing industry of the San Francisco Bay Area. Processing lime -- a key ingredient in plaster and mortar -- was big business in the California boom years after the Gold Rush. New technology (namely Portland cement) made lime obsolete early in the 20th century, leaving the uncanny recuperative powers of the coast redwood to reclaim the forest where factories once stood. The decaying lime kilns at Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park are about all that remains of the local industry. This hike lets you explore the old kilns up close. It's mostly rusting junk now, but the hike to it -- along the burbling waters of Fall Creek -- is one of the prettiest in the Bay Area. Best times to go: This is a true four-season park; just bear in mind it can be quite cold in the morning.

hiking
muddy
15 days ago

This trail is grossly misnamed and calculated. If you go to the left, you will see the lime kilns within approx 1.5 miles. The rest of this trail take you to the Barrel Mill Site. Additionally, following this trail to the T clocks in at just over 6 miles and I agree with other comments stating it is more on the side of Moderate, especially with the portion of washed out trail. All in all, lovely and secluded with giant redwoods standing watch. Unfortunately, didn't see any banana slugs :(

I agree with most other users that this is closer to moderate difficulty. otherwise it's a beautiful trail! I recomend going early

Ricky getting some !!!!

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite go to’s for a quick and easy hike. Always beautiful no Matt what time of year.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Not good for littler kids. More a moderate trail than easy. Pretty steep at many points

hiking
bridge out
2 months ago

hiking
bridge out
2 months ago

hiking
blowdown
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike along the creek with beautiful vegetation. I would say this hike is moderate instead of easy. Before getting to the Barrel Mill site is a cutoff trail, need to go through lots of falling trees, but doable. Lots of shade.

We wanted to see the lime kilns, but made a wrong turn and crossed the bridge at the beginning of the trail. We went up ridge trail which was a nice steady incline for a good workout. We came back down fall creek trail which followed the creek and was beautiful. Took us about 2 hours which includes the time we stopped for lunch next to the river. Overall it was really pretty hike and there was a lot of water in the creek.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy beautiful trail with slow incline. Mostly shaded the whole way. Beware of mosquitoes.

hiking
blowdown
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely lovely short loop to Lime Kiln and back via North Fork of Fall Creek Trail (or in reverse). Water at your side most of the loop, beautiful creekside vegetation. Dramatic during winter. Beware that although people used to bring dogs (due to lack of enforcement), that has completely changed. Dogs, even on leash, are not allowed in Fall Creek, rangers do patrol, and the citations are very expensive.

hiking
5 months ago

Very good trail for an hour and a half after driving from Sacramento. We met Ted near the limestone kilns, he showed us the pool used to soak the panels used to form the barrels that the limestone was transported in after being prepared in the kilns. The pool had a number of goldfish that have been there for about 6 years.

hiking
6 months ago

Definitely not moderate, this is an easy trail that could accommodate all skill levels in my opinion. Some cool points on trail to see!

6 months ago

Beautiful trail!!

hiking
blowdown
10 months ago

Well-maintained trail in the heart of the forest. Not terribly challenging but incredibly peaceful. Didn’t see another soul until the last mile. Excellent place for dogs with an abundance of stream crossings.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy hiking trail along a stream. Very beautiful with lots of redwoods. Parking can be hard specially on weekends, and also it’s a very shady trail so perfect for summer.

running
Fri Oct 19 2018

This trail is great for beginning trail running! It's a pretty easy trail with a slow incline. The trail is really beautiful with the creek and big redwood trees. I wore my normal running shoes instead of hiking books, and I didn't have any trouble crossing the creek. It was a warm day but much cooler on the trail.

hiking
Mon Sep 17 2018

best hike ever! easy not moderate, my kids love it!.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

Easy hike, beautiful trail by the river.

Fri Aug 31 2018

One of the best hikes I’ve hiked in the Bay Area. Offers a little bit of all landscape. We hiked a little over 7 miles with my 12yr old son, 7yr old daughter and wife - without complaints!

Sun Jul 08 2018

Beautiful, easy hike. Lots of water still. Feels like ur in Jurassic Park lol. You can easily extend it and add a more difficulty by way of elevation gain and distance. Small parking lot and the trails get crazy crowded with big groups- beware.

hiking
Tue Jul 03 2018

One of the prettiest hikes I’ve done! I went on a Monday to beat the crowds and still shared the trail with lots of people probably with the same idea, but it wasn’t too packed. I took the Fall Creek trail to The Ridge tail and it dumps you back off higher on the Fall Creek trail. The Ridge trail was mostly uphill and a little too strenuous for my kids, but after some complaining we got it done. The scenery can’t be beat! We saw lots of nature including a baby snake and banana slugs.

hiking
Mon Jul 02 2018

Beautiful trail in Fall Creek! The lime kilns are somewhat uneventful, but the actual hike up to them is gorgeous. This is moderate because of the fallen trees and other obstacles, otherwise it is somewhat easy, with a mostly wide trail & relatively low elevation change.

hiking
Sun Jun 10 2018

I would rate as easy, very beautiful !

nature trips
Sat Jun 02 2018

Ah bit crowded, a lot of stuff going on besides nature.

Fri May 25 2018

Great for kids. Well maintained. Saw a lot of trail runners too

hiking
Sat Apr 21 2018

Beautiful trail. I’d say it’s more on the easy side of moderate. There are a number of down trees so we weren’t able to make it to the turn around point listed here since our baby carriers made it too tricky. I’d definitely come out to this area again. Looks like there’s miles of trails we can connect for this.

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