Ridge Trail–Fall Creek Trail

A scenic, moderate hike in the Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

2.75 miles; 90 minutes; moderate; elev. range 380 ft to 880 ft (cum. elev. gain 620 ft)

by Hilltromper staff

Looking for a quick getaway or workout? This lollipop satisfies with a good 500-foot climb to a lofty redwood-lined ridge before descending to picturesque Fall Creek and following it back to the start of the loop.

Start at the main Fall Creek entrance, a dirt parking lot on Felton Empire Road about .6 miles west of Highway 9. (Click here for map view.) Take the Bennett Creek Trail from the parking lot, descending through oak and laurel forest to the redwood-shaded confluence of Bennett and Fall creeks, and turn right at the map kiosk to cross the sturdy wooden bridge. Follow Fall Creek Fire Road, a wide and gracious trail, for about a quarter-mile. Turn left up a rise (and continue to bear left) onto Ridge Trail. The trail winds up through mixed evergreen forest and immature redwoods to a, yes, ridge far above Fall Creek illuminated by filtered sunlight. It's nice up there! After about a mile on Ridge Trail, bear left onto S-Cape Trail, which heads somewhat sharply down the side of the ravine toward Fall Creek. Turn left at the bottom onto Fall Creek Trail, which babbles through a narrow, cool canyon, and follow it about a mile, crossing over the creek on a seasonal bridge and crossing the South Fork of Fall Creek on another sturdy, permanent wood bridge. From that point on the trail is pretty wide and fairly smooth. Follow it back to the map kiosk, and return up Bennett Creek Trail to the parking lot.