Explore the most popular hiking trails near Jacksonville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Dog shit central.

I hike this trail several times a year it is easy, but there are a few steep sections. There isn't much if any snow during the winter which makes it an excellent place to hike when other places are snowed in. A couple if years ago while hiking the trail there was a rattlesnake that buzzed at my dog on the edge of the trail. Beware if you are hiking with children. That was the only time I saw a rattlesnake but I have heard them a few times.

Short but sweet. Great if you have little ones.

Make sure you get the map at the ranger station to make this hike more interesting. The path was very thin in places, which can make it harder to walk with younger kids.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. My InReach Explorer said the total hike was 10.4 miles, and the first 3.1 miles up were pretty steady incline through not so interesting forest. Then there is a clearing along the ridge line for a bit, and back to forest a bit more. The final push up to the lookout is the hardest part. Because of the views only being a small portion of the total hike I only give it four stars, and would've given three if not for the lake view and proximity.

I would not recommend this trail for backpacking. I had planned on backpacking but ended up hiking back to the trailhead and camping at one of the nearby dispersed spots on the California side. It was a great workout carrying an extra heavy pack with the water in 95 degree heat (start early bc it didn't start heating up until around 11 and was chilly before that)! But not a hard enough trail where you couldn't hike to the top and back in one go and still have time in your day to enjoy the lake. It allows horses, so the trail isn't very difficult other than the moderate elevation gain. Also like someone else said, there are no good spots to camp out on the trail. Not worth it. Just hike it, and bring lots of water.

trail running
1 month ago

The trail system is behind the Britt grounds. It's across the highway if you park by the library. Wildflowers are everywhere early spring. Watch for poison oak in summer! It's a nice mix of hills and flat.

Easy with kids, just keep the little ones close at narrow parts of trail. Boys loved seeing a few lizards.

trail running
2 months ago

This is a beautiful trail that has gorgeous views and an abundance of wildflowers in the spring. I have run the first 4 miles of this trail two separate times. My first run was in April and the trail was clear. In June, however, many places had grass growing over the trail chest-high and it made for an uncomfortable run. I would recommend this as a good trail for a springtime hike.

Great trail for trail riding. A few downed trees. Saw my first black bear going toward little Applegate trail head. Pretty good climb from bear gulch trail head. Beautiful forest.

Good short hike

It was open last weekend. Nice easy walk

hiking
2 months ago

Nice little trail in a very good area to hike. Jacksonville did themselves proud on these trails. Something here made my phone decide the GPS wouldn't work for awhile.

Nice trail through an interesting area with many different types of beautiful trees. Come across quite a few people close to the TH.

on Tunnel Ridge Trail

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great short hike!! I would definitely have a forestry map before heading to the trailheads. I lost service for hours. There are different ways to get to this location but the best and least confusing direction is through Jacksonville, then down the 238. Pay attention to the signs because there are a few different ways to get to the tunnel trailhead. We first started on Little Applegate TH which is a 5 mile hike to the tunnel and loaded with ticks and bugs. After a mile we turned back to the car and drove another 1.8 miles to the "Tunnel Ridge TH". Enter the Tunnel Ridge TH location and hike about a mile to the top. It's mostly up hill but we managed fine with a 3yr, 5yr, 6yr, and 11yr old. Once you reach the top, take the trail to the left (Bear Gulch Trail). It will show an additional 3 miles but after just a few feet the Tunnel will be on your right.

Beautiful hike but misleading.We started at Bear Gulch trail head. Once you reach the first sign it will read "Tunnel Ridge 3.1 Mi" and an arrow pointing left. So, logically we went that direction, figuring we must have misread the distance listed in the trail app. The next few miles we're fairly flat and easy but theres lots of poison oak covering the trail. Nearing the end, there was spectacular views of the Applegate Valley from a must-sit bench that overlooks rolling meadows. the tunnel has a small opening but my wife was able to crouch through and walk from one end to the other. Pretty cool. We went down back to Bear Gulch, totaling 8 miles. Awesome hike but a far cry from the listed 1.7 miles!

After reading some posts it became apparent that folks we're finding a short cut to the tunnel. With comments like " quick hike" I knew somethin was up. Apparently, if we would have went the opposite way that the sign points toward Tunnel Ridge, we would have gotten to the tunnel much, much faster. Like 2 miles faster!?! Not sure if this is true, but if so, that is kinda misleading to say the least.

trail running
2 months ago

Pretty Trail. Did a short loop.

Loved this hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

Really enjoyed this one! Hiked it early in the AM. Temps started in the low 50's near the TH. By noon it was almost 80! Only saw 2 others on the trail... most parked at the trailhead to access Applegate Lake.

on Stein Butte Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great winter hike, moderate and gentle uphills.

hiking
2 months ago

Boring and Flat trail.

3 months ago

We explored here in May and the weather could not have been more perfect. At first we drove past the designated parking area, wondering what was further down the road. If you do that, it will take you to the other smaller lake that has a trail, but not around the whole lake like the other one. We didn't stay long at this spot, just long enough to check out the first picnic spot by the lake which was filled with bugs. So we got back in the car and went back to the designated parking area and walked down towards the big lake (pretty short walk).

The first opening at the lake had great views, but again, tons of bugs. There was also a LOT of dog poop, so I took some time to pick it all up so my kids didn't have to worry about stepping in it. The dog and kids played in the water a bit here and then we decided to start the walk around the lake. I wish we would have walked to the right earlier, because there are much better spots to relax and swim at. And there were hardly any bugs flying in our face at the other spots.

We walked around the whole lake and noticed 4 different spots with rope swings. They are in spots best suited for ages 10 and up in my opinion. But still fun to at least check out, even with little kids. I thought spot #9 was the prettiest swing spot. The water was pretty clear here and we could see lots of fish swimming around.

We had the place all to ourselves and had so much fun. If you are going in the spring or summer, don't forget your bug spray!

Beautiful views & wildflowers!

hiking
3 months ago

My 5 & 4 year old could only make it half way, with frequent rests

first 2.5-3 miles are super boring. just trees. then you hit the ridgelone with amazing views and its good after that. some rocky sections of trail, lots of bugs
absolutely stunning views at top

had trail to myself today

hiking
3 months ago

this was a great hike once you get to the top. I would do a day hike again, but not an over night hike. camping is very limited and taking 48 pounds up that incline is brutal for the average hiker like myself. if your an advanced hiker then absolutely do it. The views are amazing.

trail running
3 months ago

went there in the middle of April, not a soul to be found. kinda creepy considering it's super far out in the woods. but was a good run. can be a bit hard to find, no cell service. just follow Maps and it should bring u right to it

hiking
4 months ago

I would rate this moderate instead of easy. Only because you should be prepared to feel the burn as you hike uphill the whole way. We managed fine while wearing a baby and having a 8, 6, and 3yr old hike along too. And the hike down is a breeze. When you reach the top you will want to take the trail to the left towards Bear Gulch. Just a few feet away you will see the tunnel. The opening is small, but it's a bit roomier once you are inside. Adults will have to hunch over to walk through, but your kids will be able to stand up and have the time of their lives. There is a sign in front that gives some history of the hydraulic gold mine, which is really cool. Definitely a unique spot and we enjoyed the views along the way. The climb is always worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful. Trail was well maintained and easy to follow. AMAZING views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a fun little hike!

I’d probably put it at moderate and not easy, as the entire hike to the tunnel or other connecting trails is uphill. It’s steady, but all uphill. The kids, and myself, were starting to feel it towards the ends.

NOTE: once you finish the trail and it intersects the Bear Gulch Trail, you’ll want to go to your left (like you are starting the Bear Gulch Trail) for a few feet and the tunnel will be on your right.

The trail is easy enough for most kids to get there and smallish adults. I’m 5’8 and towards the end of the tunnel it becomes narrow and I had to crawl a few feet.

It was fun for sure and there are some stunning views along the way.

hiking
4 months ago

Total distance was almost 10 miles on the dot. Great views of snowy mountains and Applegate Lake. Uphill all the way up, so I would suggest doing this in cooler weather. Rewarding view at the top.

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