by Mario Vaden
DeMartin section coast redwood trail is located in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. This trail is much like redwoodhikes.com describes ... not used much, say 1/3 minus stands of redwoods, and parts not worn and defined, but evident given attention. I describe the north end different. There are some old growth coast redwoods, then a transition to forest with old growth Douglas Fir with smaller size coast redwoods. It's not quite what I would call "second growth" if the Pseudotsuga species are reaching 5 ft., 6 ft. ... even 8 ft. diameter. A few huge Sitka Spruce are found, some redwood with unusual shapes and forms, and on coast redwood that's almost bonsai-like for form.
There is some traffic sound near the end until crossing a ridge. I found the beginning so interesting though ... it took my mind of the traffic (which, again, is not subtle)
I am recommending the upper north segment of this trail, for a brief in-and-out experience when you are looking for something different. Sample part of it, beginning from the north end. Like 1 or 2 miles in toward the south, then 1 or 2 miles back north the same way.
It is roughly 6.25 miles each way or 12.5 miles combined. You can start south by Wilson Creek Bridge, near Wilscn Beach where Wilson Creek crosses Hy. 101; about 13 miles south of Crescent City. To reach that trailhead, park between Hy. 101 and the beach, then cross Wilson Creek, or walk north over that bridge to find the trail. But my recommendation is the north trailhead.
The north trailhead is about 5 miles farther north on Hy. 101. Look for a small turnout on the east side of the highway, about 1/3 mile south of the Damnation Creek trail turnout, which is on the opposite side of Hy. 101. Coming from Cresent City, you would go about 8 miles, pass Damnation Creek parking, go the extra 1/3 mile and look for the DeMartin parking to the left. Keep your headlights on.
For photography, I would not rate this highly. This is a decent option when you are looking for something different to do for an hour or two, and maybe already hiked several of the other redwood trails. Pay close attention to where you plant your feet on the downhill slants and steps.
In the photo, I am next to a Sitka Spruce wearing a natural skirt of leather-leaf fern. The species of fern often found in fern mats high up in coast redwood crowns.