Pygmy Forest Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Pygmy Forest Trail is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Jenner, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
800 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

wildlife

no dogs

This walk highlights the self-guided interpretive efforts of Salt Point State Park, with trailside informational signage focusing on local vegetation identification. Access trail at the Woodside Campgrounds entrance on HWY 1. Expect a consistent uphill grade until you reach the Pygmy Forest area. The grade will be variable with plenty of level areas through to the southern end of the Prairie Meadows. After that, it's mostly downhill back down to HWY 1 and the coastal step.

*Wear long pants*

I did not spot any poison oak, but the last segment (I believe it’s called Powerline Trail) is poorly marked, and definitely overgrown. You will be fighting ferns, long grasses, and various types of sharp brush for 30 minutes give or take. I prefer to wear shorts generally and even asked a ranger at the station about it beforehand. She said she didn’t get “up there” much - so didn’t know the state of some of the trails. But nonetheless she said shorts would be fine :-| Nope!

Otherwise, it was great. Pygmy Forest seemed like our West Coast version of Narnia. The prairie was something. Most of this trail is downhill after the 2 mile mark. The sounds of the nearby ocean and wind hitting the treetops was superb.

Given the other mediocre reviews, I’d suggest Alltrails to find a different loop in Salt Point. There’s plenty of better material to choose from. At the end, choosing between walking back via the PCH, through campsites or roughing the Powerline trail in its current state was not pleasant.

mountain biking
28 days ago

10 mile loop starting at Woodside and going up the fire road. left at water tanks to North trail then merge back to central trail before hitting the prairie trail down the mountain. mostly unimproved fire roads. downed trees. fun downhills. the final leg near the coast is super scenic.
overall average... major long uphills early on diminish the initial fun but the way down is great.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail DOES NOT have any ocean view or access. There is a trail across the street however. As for this trail...it is just ok. A pretty walk in the woods. Nothing outrageously beautiful, but not totally boring. A fair amount of bugs, so bring spray. Very easy hike with a few hills.

hiking
9 months ago

So. Many. Bugs. The good thing was the trail is well maintained. Make sure you have $8 for parking and note this trail has no views of the ocean... there is an adjoining trail that takes you to the ocean across the street.

hiking
Friday, September 02, 2016

Wonderful, easy hike with the bulk of the incline at the start. We did a loop that started at Woodside campground and included parts of the central trail, huckleberry trail, north trail, prairie trail, south trail and then powerline trail. Trails seemed well marked. However know this area described as "near Jenner" is about 18 miles north, with intense coastal driving. I'd come back in a heartbeat because the immediate area both inland and along the coast has enough trails and possible loops for days.

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

Overall good hike. Coastal trail is pretty windy. Coastal and forest trails aren't marked very well and there are a lot of side trails not shown on the map. Discovered a map at one of the campgrounds that had a more detailed way to get to the Pygmy Forest (listed the plant/tree placards placed along the trail) but only after finishing the trail.

hiking
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Very nice trail, easy hike with wonderful forest smells leading to golden meadow. Never found trail marker for Huckleberry trail so had to back track. I highly recommend going across the highway for the beach walks. Spectacular!!

cross country skiing
Monday, September 28, 2015

Nice trail except the plantation part was confusing and we had to backtrack quite a ways.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

We did the trail up on the hill overlooking the beach and ocean. Very pleasant walk with peaceful and beautiful surroundings. Interesting rocks and tidal pools to see. Saw lots of seals, sea urchins, Dr. Suess looking plants. Highly recommended!

hiking
Sunday, July 07, 2013

Did this hike with my husband and 4 year old. Loved it! Its a lot of uphill, so we used the baby carrier the whole time. I loved the self-guided tour of local flora, and the stunted trees were very cool to see. Also, there was hardly anyone else on the trail. Awesome hike!

hiking
Thursday, March 08, 2012

one of my favorites. we hiked along the beach and it was gorgeous. not too many people and it seemed untouched. watch out for ticks!

hiking
1 month ago

trail running
4 months ago

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11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

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Monday, June 05, 2017

Saturday, December 31, 2016

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

recorded

hiking
Wednesday, July 09, 2014