Monday, October 13, 2008

Russian Gulch State Park, Fort Bragg, California

We took a hike in Russian Gulch State Park this afternoon, which is a few miles south of Fort Bragg on Highway 1. We started along the North Trail, which begins in the campground, just after the last restroom. The first part of the hike is steep, but once it levels off, there are no elevation changes. The first two-thirds of this hike was nice - among ferns and trees. We were amazed at the number of pine needles covering the forest floor and the lower shrubs. We circled back on the North Trail, which opened up to walking along power poles and ultimately the road. This we didn't find as charming, to say the last. To get to the rest of the hike, we had to cross Highway 1 and walk a road to the trail head - again, not our favorite thing to do - once we're on trail, we like the trail to stay a trail. However, the west side of the hike, the Headlands Trails, was open with ocean views; in fact, lovely ocean views. This hike takes you to Blow Hole Overlook, where at high tide waves crash and pound, creating an echo. There is also an inland tunnel, which leads to a 100' by 60' deep hole created also by the pounding waves. We meandered around the Headlands Trail, and eventually (after more road walking) ended up at our car. It cost $6 to park at Russian Gulch State Park, and we're not sure it was really worth it. There is a waterfall trail as well, and perhaps we should have taken that one, but we had heard about this one, and went with the recommendation.

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