Explore the most popular kid friendly 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.

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.

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.

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

Beautiful drive from historic Jacksonville through the Applegate valley with occasional peeps of the river. Several quaint little country towns along the way.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Boring and Flat trail.

2 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!

hiking
3 months ago

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

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

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.

The trail is nicely wooded, as mentioned before, it is next to the highway so you will hear some traffic noise, overall I would hike this again!

hiking
4 months ago

Great little mile hike from the TH to the tunnel. Quick hike with beautiful views towards the top.

Not a bad afternoon walk. Very pet friendly. If you start to the left of the lake the bridge and spring at the end are totally worth the hike. Once you get there, you’re almost done. It’s a long one way gravel road out. I wouldn’t suggest it for a low car or when it’s wet out.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing views the entire trip! Very nicely maintained trails; even a couple benches along the way! Uphill all the way to the top; but once you reach the end you find information about the history of the tunnel which we found fascinating. Tall children and adults will hit their heads if they try to pass through the tunnel! Beware of ticks in the grasses surrounding he trails.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun trail! Steady uphill the whole way, but worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Had a blast today on this trail! I took my 3year old son and my 9year old daughter they both made it to the top and thought the tunnel was amazing.

hiking
4 months ago

Had a BLAST with my little family today great hike and an amazing drive definitely 1 of my favorite hiking locations

The directions to the trails are bad. Never did see the river but it was pleasant. The Panoramic Viewpoint was nice.

I'm giving 3 stars cuz what I explored was really pretty but I am pretty confused on where to go when I came out there. there was a little parking area that said tunnel ridge day use with what looked like a start of a trail but then directly across the road was a start to another trail that listed multiple trails such as bear gulch which I had seen pics of on this app so I followed that trail since i had seen pics on here but I think it was the wrong start or I didn't go far enough cuz I never saw the tunnel.

Thought someone should mention that the dirt road to the trailhead is a bit bumpy and only 1 lane. I wouldn’t recommend taking a low riding vehicle to get there

Directions took me to a cemetery... I don't know if I just missed it or my directions weren't working but I wasted 30 minutes of my time and gas. Never had this happen before.

Nice and pretty. You will Enjoy!!!

The trail is currently closed

We were really excited about this hike. We drove a hour to it.. our 7 yr old was so excited about the tunnel... so the first part of the hike is completely up hill the hole way, we got to the top and didn’t see the tunnel so we went back down hopping we just missed it... but no its at the top around the corner from the sign.. we where so upset we missed it and worked that hard to not find it... so for those going to the tunnel go past the sigh at the top.. on the way down its really easy and goes by fast.. enjoy

hiking
8 months ago

Great hiking spot.

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