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Becky Eldredge

Legal Assistant | Passionate about Food | Pitbull Lover

I was surprised to find this hike listed on here- this was my favorite place to go with my grandparents growing up, however I'm sure it has changed quite a bit since then. My grandmother even spread some of her brothers ashes here a very long time ago, he loved this place so much. This really is a gorgeous mountain and I loved exploring all the rock formations (some in the shape of seats!), crazy flowers growing in the granite cracks, and the tide-pool looking holes of water from lightning strikes. I can see why this is thought of as a cousin to Stone Mountain, although in my opinion definitely more unique and secluded than touristy Stone Mountain.

I love Glass Beach in Fort Bragg and try to stop by anytime I'm in the area. Sidenote- they gave away a trip here as the grand prize on The Price is Right a while back! It's a gorgeous little beach, very easy to get to, plenty of parking. The beach is kind of small, but if you like exploring there are plenty of other beach areas around the rocks (careful of the tide!). It is worth noting that you are not supposed to take the sea glass home with you, which personally I think is pretty funny since it's just sea polished trash (but oh so pretty!). There are alot of restaurants nearby as well- grab something to-go and a 6-pack from North Coast Brewery right down the street or David's Deli maybe a mile further south.

I live less than an hour away so Fern Canyon is our go-to spot when family or friends come to visit. Access is always fun- a 6 mile drive down a dirt road through the redwoods, then opening up on the beach, a few small creek crossings (suv/truck is preferred but most cars can get through at the correct spots). It is a very short trail into the canyon from the parking lot. Please note State Parks do not allow dogs on their trails- you will get a ticket if they find you & your pup. The canyon is gorgeous and it's usually best to go in the am, before the crowds arrive. Lighting can be tricky in the canyon too so if you want good photos do not go around mid-day (shadows are too harsh). The canyon is not accessible for everyone. If you have any hip/leg injuries you may want help or to take the trail through the canyon as far as you can. There are many fallen trees you have to climb over/under to get through the trail. Lots of fun, but not so much if you have an injury. Once you get through to the end of the canyon try taking the loop trail that goes on the bluff just above the canyon. Not nearly as scenic, but there are a few views looking down into the canyon, and lots of skunk cabbage, fungi, and banana slugs! This upper trail also connects to multiple other trails that go for miles- make sure to take a map! The bluff loop trail ends at the entrance to the canyon so you are right back where you started. Walk down the creek to the field by the beach and you may see the herd of Elk there too- they frequent that area. DO NOT get too close though, they are wild animals and dangerous! *I would bring something to eat & drink (it's a long drive to the store) as well as some river shoes/waterproof shoes and an extra jacket/sweater as the fog rolls in fast.

Avenue of the Giants is pretty amazing and very easy to access. I love the variety of the different groves along the avenue and the park is very well kept. Huge variety of hiking, strolling, swimming/tubing, fishing, and even climbing trees if that's your thing! There are usually alot of tourists in the area during the afternoons so morning is usually best (lighting too). Please do not bring your pups as they are not allowed on the trails. Some of my favorite groves on the avenue include 1) Grieg French Bell Grove, 2) Women's Federation Grove, 3) Bull Creek Flats/Big Trees, & 4) Rockefeller Grove