Jackson State Forest

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General Information

Jackson State Forest is located in Northern California, specifically in Fort Bragg, just next to the Pacific Ocean coast and 2-3 hours north of San Francisco. The forest spans approximately 50,000 acres. What makes this place a treasure is that most of the forest is covered in old-growth Redwood trees. Jackson State Forest is by far California's largest state-owned forest.


We currently do not have any record of trailheads in this park.

Routes and Trails You Can Travel

We currently do not have any record of good routes in this park.


Hiking among redwoods is a pretty unique experience. First of all, every once in a while you can pass a simply gigantic and awe-inspiring tree that causes you to stop, go giddy, and take pictures.

It is very good to go hiking at Jackson State Forest and other redwood forests during the summer as the tall trees will provide you with natural sun shade. You will not feel as tired, and will not get as sun burned.

Also, as you walk around the forest, notice the unique habitats under the redwoods. The trees are so big that they often create their own eco-system right under them.


Climate and Weather

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The gem of the forest are the tall Coastal Redwood Trees. There are three types of Redwoods in the world: Coastal Redwoods, Giant Sequoias, and a relatively recently discovered type of redwood tree found in China.

The Coastal Redwood is the tallest of all the redwood trees. They can grow well over 300 feet in height. If you took out one of the redwood trees and planted them somewhere else in the world, they wouldn't die, but they would simply not grow to their full potential. The reason these trees thrive so well in Northern California has to do with the ecology of the area, and the insatiable appetite of the trees for water.

Each redwood tree, depending on its size, may require over a thousand gallons of water each day. If it rains that day, each tree can obvious get plenty of water. But most days in Northern California, there is no rain. In fact, there is a dry season that goes on for about 5-6 months during the summer and parts of Fall and Spring.

The secret of how these trees get their water is from the coastal fog that comes in daily from the Pacific Ocean. Also, if you are in the forest, as you hike around, you may notice that there are many small streams scattered throughout the forest. The redwoods also get their water supply from these streams. These trees also have sprawling and shallow roots that can reach pretty far and get to the streams.

There is a warning sign on the horizon for these trees. As the ocean temperatures get warmer, the oceans produce less fog. With the global warming of the oceans, scientists are raising alarms that the reduced fog may damage the ecology of the redwoods.


Other Plants

Camping Possibilities

Other Information


Driving Directions

The forest is easily accessible from Highway 1, and then Highway 20.

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Park Map

Photos From This Park

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Hiking or Walking Groups Nearby

Group Name: BPLrs of Humboldt

Group Description: Looking for others to hike with that are interested in lightweight/ultralight backpacking, and participate online at Backpackinglight.com 8-15 mile days. Lost Coast, King Range, Trinity Alps and beyond.

Group Name: Sonoma County Wanderers

Group Description: This is a hiking group for the intermediate hiker! For a hiker that enjoys a relaxed pace, conversation, picture taking and the journey as much as the destination. We usually do between 4 and 10 miles with moderate elevation gain.
Come join us!

Upcoming Hikes

There are no upcoming hikes. Be the first to start one!

Past Hikes

Point Reyes National Seashore - Tomales Point | 90.4 km away

Date: Sunday, 6-5-2011

Description: Hike to Tomales point and back

Tomales point | 90.4 km away

Date: Sunday, 6-5-2011

Description: Walk to the Tomales Point and back.

Backpack Photography Trip to Snow Mtn.Wilderness 6/17-18-19 | 48.1 km away

Date: Friday, 6-17-2011

Description: Weather-permitting we will see abundant wildflowers, star-filled night skies, full moon.\\r\\nHike from Summit Spring Trailhead in the Mendocino National Forest through the Snow Mountain Wilderness. 4 miles and about 2,000 feet elevation gain to the Summit Basin campsite. About 2 more miles and a few hundred more feet elevation to reach the East summit. Friday night - night sky photo opportunity. Saturday explore the mountain and photograph the wildflowers. Break camp about 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning to be back in the Bay Area before dark.

Paddle Lake Sonoma | 52.2 km away

Date: Sunday, 6-26-2011

Description: *** UPDATE: I have 20 people coming so far. *** This is a 10 mile round trip paddle, from Yorty Creek to the end of the Dry Creek Arm, where we'll pull up to a beach and have a picnic. Then we'll do a 2 mile round trip hike to the waterfall and go for a swim. You need to bring your own canoe or kayak, meet at Yorty Creek boat ramp at 9:30. There may be a launch fee. We will start paddling by 10:00. Last year it took us about 2 hrs to get to the lunch spot. No carpools since we have to transport our boats, but do catch a ride with a friend if you can. If you enjoy paddling and have your own kayak check out the Petaluma Paddlers. They are a very active and friendly bunch. Please bring lunch, plenty of water, a snack, and sun protection. Wear layers, it may be cool in the morning but it's going to warm up to 85 degrees. You'll want to go swimming, we'll probably swim in the lake and at the waterfall. Wear shoes or sandals suitable for wading and making the 2 mile round trip h ....

Table Rock Hike at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park at 8:30am | 74.4 km away

Date: Tuesday, 7-5-2011

Description: This is an easy hike to a gorgeous viewpoint overlooking the Napa valley. It's 4.4 miles roundtrip and an elevation gain of 500 feet. We will meet at the Robert Louis Stevenson parking lot. From Highway 29 in downtown Calistoga drive 8.5 miles northeast up the winding mountain road. The parking lot is right at the mountains summit. It is the same parking lot used for the St. Helena Hike. If anyone wants to car pool from Healdsburg. I can pick you up at 7:30 at Big Johns Supermarket. This hike is very interesting. You start through a forest and soon find yourself surrounded by natural volcanic rock sculptures..of course the end is terrific with a sweeping view. As always: •Bring plenty of water •Wear comfortable hiking shoes •Dress in layers as the hike will start off cool but warm up when we leave the forest •We will stay at the viewpoint for about 10 minutes..bring a snack if you like •Arrive early as we will head out on the trail promptly at 8:30 •Check your em ....

Armstrong Woods East Ridge Hike | 67.4 km away

Date: Wednesday, 10-5-2011

Description: This hike is about 5-6 miles with an elevation gain of 1400ft...the great thing about this hike is that a good portion of it is in the shade. We've done this before but it is such a favorite that we will keep on doing it on a regular basis! This hike is all about having fun and getting some exercise in a comfortable setting. We won't be setting any speed records or winning any awards! It's all about spending time with other people, getting outside for some activity and having fun. You won't be held accountable to identify all of the plant or animal life, though I hope we see an abundance of both! This hike has a few relentless hills that keep going on up but it is well worth the huffs and the puffs to get up there. To enjoy this hike you should be able to comfortably walk uphill at a steady pace for an extended period. To get to the trailhead: From downtown Guerneville on Main St. (Highway 116), drive 2.3 miles north on Armstrong Woods Road to the visitor center on the right, ....

Oat Hill Mine Road and the Palisades | 79.4 km away

Date: Saturday, 4-20-2013

Description: Introduction
The palisades are beautiful, and this hike offers gorgeous views of it and the Calistoga valley. This hike simply goes up to Robert Louis Stevenson park or Down from the park to the Pizza place at the trailhead. This makes it easy to offer several hiking options - people can simply turn around when they are tired. The grade is fairly easy on the knees but undulates across the front of the palisades.

Extra Items:

Most of this hike is exposed to the sun. We recommend doing it during winter, or on cool days <65F. Bring 3-4 22oz water bottles each for 65 degree weather. Seriously! Wear sturdy hiking boots, the palisades trail is not well worn and is rocky in places. If you have them, bring 2-way radios so the fast + slow groups can keep in touch.

Hiking options:
◾Carpool: Add 2 hours to each of these times to cover carpooling + lunch + hike intro.
◾Short hike to bald hill: 2 hours 45 mins. 5.7 miles, 1300ft gain/loss.
◾Medium hike to Pali ....