Berry Glen Redwood National Park hiking trail reminds me of Neahkahnie Mountain trail in Oregon's Oswald West State Park, but with redwoods and bigger trunks: intermittent glimpses of the ocean, fog and sky along the way. The rate of climb reminds me of Emerald Ridge Trail near Redwood Creek. But Berry Glen Trail is more open. This provides longer and more panoramic views through the redwoods in several places. There is a 1200 foot rise in elevation from start to finish.
The trail is like 60% old growth and 40% second growth. Its an interesting hike, because the forest changes often with a gradual increase of size and age progressing upward. There are several big fern glades providing excellent places to pause for a drink or rest. If you start early on a foggy day with sunshine, expect to be dazzled by a light show of rays.
The open views were surprising to see compared to another slope NE of Lady Bird Johnson Grove. In 2010, I joined someone to take a look a tall redwood down the hill from Lady Bird Johnson Grove and the tangle of Huckleberry and Rhododendron was continous. But this Berry Glen Trail area to the west is completely different, more open, providing a lot of open photo opportunities.
Original announcement from the Redwood National Park
Redwood National & State Parks announced the opening of this new hiking trail on Saturday, October 30, 2010. The 3-mile Berry Glen Trail connects the Lady Bird Johnson Grove (up Bald Hills Road) with the Elk Meadow Day Use Area (right along Highway 101) north of Orick, California. The Berry Glen Trail brings hikers through younger, and old-growth forests. It follows the alignment of the original Bald Hills Road for much of its upper portions.
The lower sections of the trail wind through previously undisturbed forest until it meets an old logging road close to the highway. The trail crosses Highway 101 just north of Orick at Berry Glenóthe site of a Depression-era family store known to early Redwood Highway travelers for its homemade berry piesóbefore ending at the Elk Meadow Day Use Area.
The Berry Glen Trail was built with assistance from the California Conservation Corps through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka stimulus funding). Park visitors can now hike from Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park all the way to Lady Bird Johnson Grove and back on well-maintained trails
There is parking on the west side of Highway 101 about 1/4 mile south of Redwood Adventures and Elk Meadow Cabins. Turn west on Davison Road at the Elk Meadow. The same turn as for Trillium Falls, Gold Bluffs Beach or Fern Canyon. Except that parking for Berry Glen Trail is just several hundred feet off Highway 101. Personally, I prefer parking in the gravel turnout on the east side of Highway 101, leaving my vehicle in more open view. Also, I prefer just getting right into the canopy that much quicker.
Redwood National Park is where some tallest redwoods have been found. Like Hyperion found in 2006, or the redwood named after Howard Libbey, near Redwood Creek. There is plenty of other tall canopy worth hiking through. Consider hiking another trail as well to broaden your sampling of this redwood forest. Bald Hills Rd. is worth a short drive too. If overlooks both prairie and redwood forest.
This trail is a little bit steep going up, and likewise coming down. So it's a little bit vigorous, and if your knee joints are delicate carrying a daypack, this may not be the right hike because of the downhill part.
This is a hike that I would recommend as an additional trail for someone who has experienced a few other redwood trails already, but not the optimum choice for a first-timer.