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Fern Canyon North and South Trail Loop

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(203)
Russian Gulch State Park

Fern Canyon North and South Trail Loop is a 5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mendocino, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Length 5.0 mi Elevation gain 734 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Partially paved

River

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (211)
Photos (257)
Recordings (129)
Completed (532)
Ashlie Robinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

This is a great trail. We took the North Trail because the Fern Canyon Trail is closed (they’re making it an accessible trail). We took it down to the Fern Loop Trail went over to see the waterfall then headed back on the East Trail to the North Boundary Trail back to the North Trail. It was a really beautiful hike with a decent incline. We went 8 miles.

Francisco Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 30 2020

The south trail is no longer visible due to overgrown areas. Take the North trail, that one is fine - great forest hike.

Jakob Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingClosed

Amazing hike but fern trail for the return loop is “closed due to construction” ran in to one guy moving rocks on a backhoe and he let us through though

View Jakob's Recording
tatiana m.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 18 2020
Hiking

Beautiful lush green trail. Definitely worth doing if you’re in Mendocino

Diane Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
HikingOver grown

Amazing views, easy trail with some areas of overgrowth but traversable. Much of the trail is on the coast cliffs. Inside state park so may be fees

View Diane's Recording
Dawn Page
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Dec 10 2019
HikingMuddy

Nice trail through ferns and redwoods. Definitely take a detour and see the waterfall.

Mary Alden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Dec 04 2019
Hiking

Lucky we were as we encountered no rain our entire hike! The trail was well maintained, damp but not at all muddy and simply breathtaking! From the recent rains and fog, the air was filled with a pine tree aroma that smelled clean and was so refreshing. Enormous and beautiful, the majestic redwood trees and pines towered the majority of the Russian Gulch park. By far, this was one of my favorite hikes to date. Truly an outdoor oasis and I plan to return definitely!

View Mary's Recording
Jerry Bell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 22 2019
Hiking

Great trail, nice variety of landscapes. Some muddy spots but nothing impassable

View Jerry's Recording
Soren N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 23 2019
Hiking

Great hike! Day pass entry to state park is $8. This trail does NOT got past the waterfall. You have to add at least an additional 1.4 miles on moderate terrain and a couple hundred feet of incline on the Waterfall Loop Trail. This trail head is at the junction of the North Trail and Fern Canyon Trail. I think it’s totally worth the extra mileage. Popular site for local campers so best to arrive early.

View Soren's Recording
Cindy F
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 22 2019
HikingOver grown

Went June 2019 on South Trail. Many places were overgrown and fallen trees were not handled. Some places so overgrown that I could no longer see the trail. This became an issue because hikers stop using the trail and animals use the area as refuge. The were walking there and so scared to hear a growl from close by. We believe it to be a warning from the bear that has been spotted in the area.

Sam Singer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 15 2019
HikingMuddy

This trail was quite nice. For most of the North trail, there were pine needles and pieces of bark on the path, making the trail soft and bouncy, not so hard on the knees. The south trail is mostly paved. Along the entire trail there are beautiful trees and ferns. Shaded, scenic, not too steep. Nice and cool in June.

View Sam's Recording
Lewis Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 26 2019
RunningOver grown

If I could give this 6* for trail running, I would.

View Lewis's Recording
Amanda Masula
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 16 2019
Hiking

We ended up taking the Fern Canyon trail to the North Trail on our way back from the Waterfall. We love adding in as many steps as we can! Much better than taking the asphalt trail on Fern. North Trail is quite a bit longer but totally worth it. There’s a small elevation climb for the first 1/2 mile or so but when you reach the top of the mountain it’s fairly smooth sailing. There’s a few muddy spots but nothing you can’t jump over...or better yet, just get dirty! Enjoy!

Janet Alvarez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 18 2019
HikingMuddy

Nice hike...moss growing on trees, nice trail.. muddy in a couple of places...beautiful waterfall!

Kimchi Jigae
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Feb 20 2019
Hiking

This trail went above the fern trail and was nice but didn’t provide much extra

Hayley Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 21 2019
HikingMuddy
View Hayley's Recording
Grace Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 17 2018

Serene redwood-lined trail; very easy to hike with just a bit of an uphill climb at the start. Highly recommended!

Carolina Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 29 2018
Hiking

We did the Fern trail going in ad returned on the North trail. The water fall is amazing and worth the hike. The North trail is challenging at first but then is pretty flat and down hill after all the up parts. Very green and we had a great time

Bob Sanderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 14 2018

Great trail. lots of elevation changes. Wet in the winter but that only makes it more interesting

Maria Edible
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 25 2018
Hiking

Bring cash. There's an $8 day use fee. The entrance station was unmanned when we came but there were envelopes. You just fill out the tag, place it in the envelope along with the cash and drop it in the dropbox, keep part of the tag, and place it on your windshield. Make sure you grab a map! The trail was beautiful and very peaceful. Few people. The trailhead started at the campground (just past the bathrooms) and was well marked. Parking was limited and unavailable at the trailhead but we drove back toward the entrance and found a slightly larger lot. Use the helpful map as it will show you all the parking areas, trails, and bathrooms.

Sukki Kamisetty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 23 2018

Nice hike. Crazy number of rhododendrons in spring.

Chicken L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 28 2018
Hiking

Amazing trail. We took it from the campsite all the way to the beginning of the fall loop -- and after the fall loop we took Fern Canyon Trail (wide, paved) back to the campsite. North Trail -- not to be confused with North Road, although the two trails intersect up on the ridge -- is a beautifully graded single track, very quiet and peaceful. It climbs the hillside from the campsite area all the way to a ridge, then it follows the ridge on a level course and finally descends on wide switchbacks to a junction with Fern Canyon Trail. Turn L to go towards Fall Loop.

Amanda Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 19 2018
Hiking

Gorgeous trail and loved the changes in terrain. We followed Nicole Zanni’s advice and took the North Trail, to the North Boundary, to the East Trail, to Fern Canyon. We were moving pretty quick and it took 2.5 hours.

Nicole Zanni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 08 2018
Hiking

Beautiful trail. A little elevation at the beginning but you reach the top pretty quickly. I recommend starting out on the North Trail then connect to the North Boundary Trail. You get to see a really crazy looking Pygmy forest. Jump off at the East Trail then connect to Fern Canyon which takes you to the top of the waterfalls. Beautiful! If you finish the hike continuing on Fern Canyon it’ll be a 6.75 mile hike. Really pretty with lots of different vegetation in a short amount of time.

Jay Samarov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 02 2018
Hiking

One of the best trails! #Redwoods

N G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Feb 20 2018

so beautiful! lots of mushrooms, ferns, and redwoods

Erasmus Device
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Feb 05 2018
Hiking

Enjoyable hike with enough elevation change to add a little challenge, especially since the recent rains have bogged it a bit. Waterfall running strong.

Vijay Narasimhan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 06 2018
Hiking

All in all, this was a delightful and relatively flat stroll. To correct an earlier poster, the trail to the waterfall is still *open*, although the campgrounds at Russian Gulch have closed for the season. Some of the bathrooms have also closed, but there is at least one with a flush toilet that is still open. The forest was incredibly green and lush, and the waterfall itself is delicate and beautiful now because there hasn't been much rain this season. Be careful on the wooden bridges and if you are playing around near the waterfall - the wetness in the forest can make the ground very slick!

Alyse Langton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Dec 28 2017
Hiking

The trail was closed for the season until spring. Also dogs are not permitted on the trail. They are allowed on the Headlane Trails that go along the cliffs and they are allowed on the jetty beach. $8 for a day pass parking. The Headlane Trails are beautiful and decently easy to hike. Just beware of ticks. I got one and my dog got three. Happy Trails!

Tyler Christensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 24 2017
Hiking

The trail was very well-maintained for this time of season. There were a couple of washed out sections but nothing bad. Good traction throughout entire trail, with a few minor mud bogs. The highlight was the beautiful beautiful scenery. We will make a point to do this hike every time we are in the area.

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