Easily accessible, short, with near-zero elevation gain, this is one of the most popular trails in the park. But it’s got it all – tall redwoods, gargantuan fallen trunks, creeks and streams. And often you have it all to yourself.
You’ll probably pass the signs for Walker Road half a dozen times or more on your stay at the bnb. Talk my advice and not only drive its length, as far to the banks of the Smith if you are brave enough to go the sandy end of the road, but also to walk the trails that start at various points along its length. One of the best your find, not only best on Walker Road but best in the entire park, is Simpson-Reed.
Simpson-Reed is a short loop through an extremely accessible old-growth forest. It’s somewhat similar to Stout Grove in that it’s easy to get to, a breeze to walk, and delivers spectacular sights. It differs in a major way, however, in that the understory is dense, bushy and complex. There’s an additional side trail worth taking, the Petersen Loop, which gets you alongside a creek or two on the added quarter mile or so of trail.
Length: .9 miles round trip
Trail Type: loop
Difficulty: easy, even grade, on hard pack gravel with no steps, a few bridges, wheelchair accessible
Change in elevation: 20 ft.
Location, distance from bnb~hiouchi: The Simpson-Reed Trail trailhead is on Walker Road, identified by a large sign on 199. The trail, on the other hand, is not marked but its entrance is almost immediately on your right after turning into Walker Road. Look for bear-proof garbage cans and two parking spots next to a concrete outhouse.
Snapshot description: A gem of a hike (mini hike, really) with a variety of trees and vegetation. Good for those seeking no elevation gain of any kind, the hard pack trail would be suitable, even, for wheelchairs. Largely without sizzle, this trails puts you at the base of a few enormous redwoods and generally winds its way through a densely vegetated redwood ecosystem.