Copyright 2009 by Mario Vaden
Online, I found several different distances listed for this trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. A California State Parks site said 7.5 miles round trip. National Park Service had 5.8 miles total. And one more by redwoodhikes.com. at 5.3 miles.
Having been on this trail, the time and moderate ease suggests that the www.redwoodhikes.com is right. Take a look there after you finish with my redwood pages here.
This is one of the best, if not the best, hiking trail in Jedediah Smith. It leads into the old-growth forest before concluding at Fern Falls. About 2½ miles from the trailhead, an unmarked inconspicuous spur trail leads to the right up to the Boy Scout redwood. One source says its named because of discovery by a local troop leader. It also said that the redwood resembles a two-finger scout salute, for which is was named.
This trail namesake redwood has a rather unique burl up high on the trunk, that almost resembles huge lips.
Boy Scout redwood is huge, and a great photo oppportunity for families or hiking partners.
A short distance farther on the main trail, is Fern Falls. The flow of water varies during the year. I have seen it running slowly, but still pleasant in July. The trail is superb all year whether the falls are flowing or not. There are a lot of huge redwoods. One favorite part for me is a glade of sword ferns that is several acres in size beneath redwood canopy, about half way through the hike.
The redwood to the right is the one the trail is named after. Just keep a sharp eye out for the small worn offshoot as you near the end.
Access is from Howland Hill Rd. through Jedediah Smith redwoods to the trailhead. Howland Hill Rd. is accessible from the east edge of Crescent City. The road is not closed often. But sometimes after a storm or if the road needs grading, the gate is locked. You can call the redwoods parks visitor centers for updates.