The Fern Canyon Loop Trail is not to be missed if you are in the area. This short loop trail takes hikers through Fern Canyon
, a stunning canyon whose 30-ft walls are lined with ferns. These ferns, which cover the canyon walls, are an ancient species with an ancestry that dates back to nearly 325 million years ago.
To access the Fern Canyon Loop Trail, park at the nearby Fern Canyon
parking area off of Davison Road and head north on the Coastal Trail for a short ways before taking the right-hand turn onto the Fern Canyon
Loop Trail. The trail starts with a short, easy uphill trek before leveling off in the canyon as you hike along the streambed of Home Creek. There may be some trees along the way that you'll have to climb over or under.
This section of the trail is absolutely stunning, as you hike through an area straight out of prehistoric times. This large canyon is completely covered with ferns - dark, green sword ferns, velvety five-fingered ferns, and delicate lady ferns. Small sections of the trail are on a boardwalk, and dirt paths meander through this giant canyon.
The trail then climbs out of the canyon to a junction with the James Irvine Trail
; stay left to continue on the loop. The trail meanders through equally lush forests to rejoin its start not far from the Coastal Trail.
You'll see a variety of ferns along this appropriately named canyon - sword ferns, five-fingered ferns, and lady ferns just to name a few.