This trail is open year-round but may be extraordinarily wet during the winter months. The closest trailhead to its lower end is Cummins Creek (parking for 8-10 vehicles but no amenities) and the closest trailhead to its upper end is Cooks Ridge (parking but no amenities).
Need to Know
This trail runs above Gwynn Creek but does not come close to it after leaving the Oregon Coast Trail. There are small side streams along the trail but it's best to carry your own water with you.
The Gwynn Creek Trail #1371 leaves the Cooks Ridge Trail #1372 about 1.3 miles downhill and west of the Cooks Ridge Trailhead. It makes a traverse to the east before turning and descending above Gwynn Creek to its end at the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) about 0.5 miles from the Cummins Creek Trailhead. Unlike some of the other trails in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, this one is entirely singletrack and not a fading old road.
The main attractions along this trail are the lush coastal forest that envelops you, the huge old-growth trees that tower over you, and the occasional wildflower that stands out against all the greenery. There are no views from this trail.
It is popular as part of a loop up the Cooks Ridge Trail from the trailhead at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, then down the Gwynn Creek Trail to the OCT, then north on that trail back to the visitor center.
It can also be used as part of a loop involving the Cummins Creek Trail #1382 from the Cummins Creek Trailhead and a short stretch on the Cooks Ridge Trail. There is a signed viewpoint just off the Cummins Creek Trail about 0.7 mi southwest of the Cooks Ridge Trailhead. This is your only chance (weather permitting) for a panoramic view out to the Pacific Ocean.