Magazine article Sunset

45 Minutes of Ferns and Redwoods ... North of Eureka

Magazine article Sunset

45 Minutes of Ferns and Redwoods ... North of Eureka

Article excerpt

45 minutes of ferns and redwoods . . . north of Eureka

A relaxing break from hurried U.S. 101, the Fern Canyon Trail at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, about 56 miles north of Eureka, is also just a chance to enjoy tremendous walls of lush ferns hidden in a redwood forest. This is not a hike, but a .7-mile meander or wade--depending on the weather--up Home Creek through the hush of healthy growth.

Footbridges crisscross the trail. You may get your feet wet this month, but you'll be treated to some early-spring growth and may get some sunshine. The canyon walls rise 50 feet and are thickly carpeted with delicate five-finger ferns. Other species-- deer, goldenback, licorice, maidenhair, and sword ferns--compete for space, but the five-finger dominates.

When you reach the end of the trail, you can enjoy the canyon longer by simply returning the way you came, taking the loop trail to your left--which goes back to the trailhead through a redwood forest-- or taking the marked James Irvine Trail that branches off to the right from the loop trail. …

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