Restrooms are located in the parking lot along Bear Creek Road and are the only ones in the preserve at this time. The trail is steep, with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Make sure to bring enough water for your hike.
Opened to the public for hiking in June 2019, the Alma Trail starts at the parking lot along Bear Creek Road and climbs steeply up to a junction with the Redwood Springs Trail
and Madrone Knoll Trail
through a forest of fir and redwood trees. Park in the new parking lot along Bear Creek Road and cross the road via the pedestrian crossing. From here, the trail begins to immediately climb steeply uphill via a series of switchbacks.
The trail is wide, packed gravel at this point which makes the hiking easy. Flowers bloom along the trail in spring time and trees are all around you, providing shade throughout the day. At roughly 0.7 miles, the trail levels off for about 0.2 miles as it hugs the side of the hill before it starts to climb steeply again.
1.1 miles along the trail, the Redwood Springs Trail
breaks off to the right while the Alma Trail begins to descend ahead of you. For 0.75 miles, the trail either descends or is flat, giving you a nice break from the 500+ feet of climbing you accomplished in the first mile. After crossing a small creek via a bridge at the 1.8 mile marker, the trail starts to approach boundary of the park that is open to the public.
At 2 miles, the trail breaks off to the right and transforms from gravel to dirt as it nears Bear Creek Road. For the next mile, the grade of the trail is often between 5-10%. The forest opens up in places, but the trees provide a great amount of shade for most of this section. At close to 3 miles, you arrive at the junction of the Redwood Springs Trail
, the Madrone Knoll Trail
, and the Alma Trail. From here, you can turn to the left and hike up to Madrone Knoll (Bear Creek Summit) or you can continue forward and enjoy the Redwood Springs Trail
Since the hike back down the Alma Trail is the same distance as hiking the Redwood Springs Trail
, you have options. Combining the two trails makes for a nice loop hike through the forest of redwoods and fir trees that the preserve protects.