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Fern Canyon Trail

MODERATE 110 reviews

Fern Canyon Trail is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Little River, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
8.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
826 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

no dogs

hiking
blowdown
muddy
off trail
washed out
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Went after a storm so a few branches on trail, awesome Forrest views great trail path. Must do if your on the coast.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
4 months ago

Gorgeous hike through the forest. There are NO ocean views despite the photos here, so please keep that in mind. It was beautiful anyway and we were almost the only ones hiking on a Saturday.

hiking
5 months ago

Fern Canyon Trail is by FAR, THE MOST beautiful forest I have ever had the pleasure of walking through. Breathtaking and magical are the words to describe these enchanted woods. I’ve gone twice, one on a clear sunny day and the other when foggy and rainy. Hands down it was so mystical being there in the fog and light rain. I was waiting for a fairy to jump out at me from out of the mist! Nothing short of a mystical fairytale awaits you when visiting this dreamlike forest!

6 months ago

Fabulous walk through the coastal woods of Little River. Worth the trip! We started at the coast (free parking) then walked through the campground to the trailhead. After walking to the first Y in the trail, we chose to hike the 1.2 miles to the Pygmy Forest, this incline was pretty steep. After viewing the Pygmy Forest - which is too cool! - we walked the 2.3 miles back which was much more gradual. There are 20 beautiful bridges to cross over creek.

backpacking
8 months ago

So the website will tell you the trail is closed but it is not. When I finally reached a real person at the park I informed them that the website was incorrect. They didn’t seem concerned. Subsequently the backcountry camp was empty. It is beautiful. Like camping on Endor. The hiking is easy but cool and shady. We flew a small plane to Little River airport and hiked in from the Pygmy forest. I recommend parking at the top parking lot and you can avoid the inept state employees. They will never know you are there because they don’t leave the main campground on Hwy 1. We made a day hike to the beach while leaving our camp set up. Camp number 4 is the best. Nice fire pit and table and lots of interesting forest all around.

Also don’t miss the blow hole located behind the little river cemetery. It is amazing and you can climb down inside using ropes!

10 months ago

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

such a pretty hike with lots of colorful mushrooms :)

trail running
Saturday, February 17, 2018

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.

backpacking
Saturday, November 18, 2017

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...

hiking
Thursday, September 07, 2017

This is a great trail

Monday, July 10, 2017

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!

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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...

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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...

hiking
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.

hiking
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 ;-)

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