Woodland Trail Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park

Normally when you hike a trail, you don’t spend your time speculating what motivated the trail builders to put the path where the did. Perhaps the CCC was eager for work when it designed Woodland Trail in Richardson Grove State Park.

The east side of this 1.25-mile lollipop loop is sensible, passing through pockets of redwoods at the base of a hill. On the other hand, the west side makes you ask what’s my motivation as you ascend 325 feet up the side of a mountain to an arbitrary apogee, just so you can immediately hike down the other side.

No one says you have to hike the whole thing, so feel free to avoid what seems like wasted effort and cut out the climb, reducing the loop to a 1-mile out and back with less than 50 feet of elevation gain.

Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park
A bridge at the start of Woodland Trail

Find Woodland Trail from the Ranger Station just inside the entrance station, or from the north end of Huckleberry Campground. If you park at the ranger station, backtrack a short distance up the road past the entrance to a trail marker on the left side of the road. This single track heads northwest, skirting along the exterior of Huckleberry Campground before crossing a wooden bridge to the start of the loop.

To the left, the trail ascends 300 feet over a quarter-mile to a picnic table at Hikers Rest. It is a quick aggressive climb, with no rewarding view at the top. Past the picnic table, the trail immediately drops back off the wooded mountainside, reaching the level part of the loop after 1/3 of a mile.

To skip all the uphill, or save it for last, turn right at the start of the loop, taking a gradual course through an oak forest mixed with redwoods. Several signs provide names for the groves along the trail. Calling them groves may be a bit of an exaggeration, as only a handful of redwoods make up each grouping.

No redwoods seem to grown on the arduous side of the loop, which is why you can pull a 180 as soon as the grade starts to increase. Save yourself the trouble and give the easy-to-reach redwoods a second look. That’s what you came here for anyway, right?

Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park
Hikers Rest

No permit is required to hike Woodland Trail, but at $8 day use fee is required to enter Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park. Dogs are not allowed on hiking trails within the park.

For a longer hike in the park with even fewer redwoods, check out Durst Creek Trail – Tan Oak Springs Trail – Lookout Point Loop, or take a short stroll through the grove near the park visitor where you will find the highest concentration of redwoods in Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park.

To get to the trailhead: From Highway 101, 15 miles north of Leggett, and approximately 30 miles south of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, turn west into the main entrance for Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park. The road curls immediately to the south to the park entrance station. Proceed straight ahead to the ranger station outside Huckleberry Campground and park. Backtrack up the road(using the path to the right of the entrance station if you prefer) to reach the trailhead at the bend in the road.

Trailhead address: 1600 Highway 101, Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park, Garberville, CA 95542
Trailhead coordinates: 40.021954, -123.794194 (40° 01′ 19.03″N 123° 47′ 39.09″W)

Trail Map
Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.

You may also view a regional map of surrounding Northern California trails and campgrounds.


Richardson Grove Redwoods State ParkRichardson Grove Redwoods State ParkRichardson Grove Redwoods State ParkRichardson Grove Redwoods State Park

These photos were taken in September of 2011. Click to enlarge.
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Tagged with · California State Parks · Redwood Groves · Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park
Distance: 1.25 miles · Elevation change: 325 feet

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