Restrooms are located in the parking lot along Bear Creek Road and are the only ones in the preserve at this time. The Alma trail is steep, with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain before you start your climb on the Redwood Springs Trail. Make sure to bring enough water for your hike.
Opened to the public for hiking in June 2019, the Redwood Springs Trail climbs beneath the 2nd growth forest that makes up Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve. The highlight of the trail is a couple of old growth redwoods that survived the logger's saw due to imperfections in their trunks. To access the trail, you have some work to do before you even start your 300+ foot climb uphill. Take the Alma Trail
from the parking lot on Bear Creek Road and hike roughly 500 feet uphill to the junction where the Redwood Springs Trail takes off to the right.
The trail climbs steeply (over 10% routinely) for the first 0.25 miles. This area is more open than the rest of the trail, so you might see deer or turkeys feeding early in the morning or late in the evening. Climbing more gently for the next 0.75 miles, the trail enters into a second growth forest, which provides nice shade during the day. Right before the 1 mile mark, the trail drops sharply and continues to descend down the hill for roughly 0.2 miles.
The wood crowd in on the trail, limiting your line of sight. At roughly 1.2 miles, the trail begins to climb again for another 0.2 miles, until the trail levels off and comes to its junction with the Alma Trail
and the Madrone Knoll Trail
. Shortly before getting to the junction, look to the left and you'll see a large redwood tree that survived due to the fact that its trunk was not straight. It looks like another tree is growing out of it, making it difficult to harvest and process. This "deformity" saved the tree and we can enjoy it today.
When you get to the intersection with the other trails, you can hike up to Madrone Knoll by turning uphill to the right or you can follow the Alma Trail
back down to the parking lot. It is roughly the same distance as turning around, and makes for a nice loop hike.
An alternative way to approach this hike is to head up the Alma Trail
, and then back down the Redwood Springs Trail, making a nice 5 mile loop.
Redwoods, Douglas Fir, and oak woodlands make up the forest that you travel through. Depending on the time of day, you may encounter black-tailed deer, turkeys, many different species of birds, as well as possibly mountain lions and bobcats.