Fern Canyon Trail

MODERATE 84 reviews

Fern Canyon Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Little River, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

8.3 miles
826 feet




nature trips





wild flowers




no dogs

1 month ago

Loved the trail. Quite easy though. I preferred the north trail next to it.

4 months ago

such a pretty hike with lots of colorful mushrooms :)

trail running
4 months ago

Ran the trail from the Little River Inn on Friday, February 17 at 7am. Wow, amazing foliage that includes towering Redwoods and the gateway to possibly fern heaven. I have never seen so many ferns of all shapes and sizes. But wait there’s more. A gorgeous creek with boulders accompanies you the entire journey as you meander through the canyon. Finally, you will encounter at least eight bridges each individually numbered as the trail crosses over the creek numerous occasions adding to the experience.
I will definitely return and highly recommend this trail. A botanist’s delight.

7 months ago

Very cool trail, I'd rate it above the Russian Gulch fern canyon and below the Prairie Creek fern canyon, though it has the advantage of the pygmy forest and the backcountry campsites out there. If you're planning on staying at the park I'd recommend checking those out if you have the backpacking gear - two miles out from the trailhead, $25/night (compared to $40/night at the campground), trash cans, picnic tables and fire rings, questionable pit toilets...

9 months ago

This is a great trail

11 months ago

Love the Fern trail beautiful and a good incline to get the blood pumping

Thursday, June 01, 2017

trailhead and back took 3.5 hours with lunch at the waterfall included. great hike with an awesome campground!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

I've taken this exceptional walk many times. One more important than all the others combined. Many years ago when I fell in Love with the most wonderful person I've ever met in my life, Vickie! Unfortunately I managed to screw things up a few years later and lost this person. The moment will always be one of my most precious memories. The beauty, atmosphere and wonder all set a magical moment.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

It was a really fun hike on a trail with a ton of great views. We decided to walk the entire trail, and it was a lot of fun. We ate lunch on the trail, but at a nice pace it still took us a little over 4 hours to walk. Keep that in mind if you get there late. Bathrooms are also located throughout the trail, which was nice. All in all, it was tons of fun, and I'd love to go back and walk it again.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Amazing hike through an ancient forest. Very thick and lush, was a little creepy at times :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I parked just outside the gate and walked in so I didn't have to pay the 6 bucks to park. I had a great day and took my time.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

We walked along the boardwalk through the Pygmy Forest and then hiked along Fern Canyon trail (2.3 miles) & then back by way of the Old Logging Road trail (1.2 miles) = 3.5 miles total. There is free parking at the Pygmy Forest trailhead off of Little River Rd. The Fern Canyon trail is a beautiful walk through an old forest. There were so many old massive trees that had been burnt down. It was amazing to see how big they once were and how old they are. There are a few bridges along the trail and a small waterfall - that would probably be pretty nice in the spring.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Nicely shaded complete with gurgling brook. Not very trafficked, though the height of the season. Would love to do this again in a light rain with the ferns glistening...

Monday, August 01, 2016

It was a beautiful, peaceful 3+ hour hike. Got there about 9:30am on a Sunday and there was hardly anyone else on the trail. It was lovely.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This hike was everything I expected. Beautiful. The weather was perfect with this shaded hike. The trail crosses over the creek many times and has many well maintained and quaint bridges. The trees are stunning with the ground covered in ferns and green shrubbery. The hike is actually 8.5 miles if you do the whole loop and worth every inch of mile.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Beautifully built and maintained trail with steps, bridges and wayside markings. Walk along the Little River with plenty of ferns, old and new growth trees, wildflowers and small waterfalls. We loved this trail.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Beautiful hike. It gets muddy in places, but the creek is amazing, and the trail is in decent shape with an occasional fallen tree to get around. Further up in the trail near the pigmy forest is a spot you may have to ford a shallow creek depending on the time of year.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Great hike. The hike is purported to be 7.7 miles on this site... the map at the trailhead has it at 8.5, and my Delorme GPS tracked us at 9.2 miles today. You choose. Either way, gorgeous. Beware of mosquitos... as long as you keep moving, they leave you alone, but once you stop, you get swarmed. Lots of Poison Oak as well, but its well worth it. Just cover those legs up. Camp site is great.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We did the Fern Canyon loop from the trail head located near the pygmy forest boardwalk & parking area.
We liked it a lot - as we saw trees and plants that we never see in the Midwest : ) This loop, combined with the pygmy forest shows trees of all sizes in one hike! Very cool...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Breathtaking scenery, very nice hike

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mountain bikes about 10 miles out and back. Mosquitoes were bad every time we slowed down or stopped. The views of the river were awesome. Our 9 & 11 year olds kept up fine but got bored quickly.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

completed this trail many times. well maintained and marked trail.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

These trails are equally beautiful......both are well maintained and marked however we did have a slight oopsy! We did this trail on bikes when we got to top we were confused as trail did not specify no bikes on it.....needless to say we did it and we had to do a lot of carrying and walking of the bikes...lol oh well it was a twofer...2 work outs for the price of one.......I would highly recommend this trail for either hiking and or biking just remember that the one side is no bikes....Happy Hiking and Biking ;-)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One of my favorite hikes. There are two trails one is very easy the other has a lot of climbing.

Friday, March 08, 2013

I started at Van Damme park and did the whole loop which I logged at 9 miles total hike on my GPS. Its a nice hike and when I went on a cloudy March weekday I only came across a couple of people. I do a lot of hiking and did not feel this place was exceptional but glad I went anyway. Also it does not allow dogs but would make a great trail to take your dog on. I'm boggled why you can't so I did anyway and had no issue. 3 out of 5 for me.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

This was a great hike! Take the longer route first, the whole loop is around 6.5 miles. More traffic than I"ve met up with at other locations. There is a small, but pretty waterfall that is serene.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not my all time favorite, but very beautiful. We had a rough camping trip and we're exhausted with kids so we ended up turning back earlier than originally planned but we enjoyed it all the same. We'll return sometime and do the whole loop. One bridge was in need of repair but was cross-able.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

This trail is absolutely beautiful! The Fern Valley s so green and plush. Bring good hiking shoes because some parts of the trail can be a little muddy, and make sure you bring bug spray. This is an easy hike though.

Monday, November 07, 2011

This is my all time favorite trail since I started hiking in january of this year. Imagine tall redwood trees and pines with ferns and water falls and creeks everywhere. Beautiful hills with woden bridges - think Avatar meets Fern Gully. Frankly breath taking, cool and beautiful. I might have lucked out because we did not have any fog during the entire hinke. I started at the top and worked my way to the beach and then back up to the top of the hill. Beautiful!

If you don't want to do the entire 7 miles you can turn around mid-way.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Popular trail lots of other hikers. We drove to the parking lot near the airport and started the trail there. We had young kids with us. We hiked 2.4 miles roundtrip. All downhill on the way to they creek. Nice workout on the way back. Great trail with lots of greenry. Would love to do the 7 miles trail.

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