Redwood National Park is not known for its biking. There are only a few options where bikes are officially allowed. One of those locations, the nine-mile Little Bald Hills Trail that starts at the east end of Howland Hill Road is the longest, most challenging, and most interesting choice.
The day before yesterday, in a break in the rain, guests Sharon and Sarah jumped on their mountain bikes and headed into the hills with designs on biking the nine mile trail from Howland Hill Road to the Paradise Trail, then down to South Fork Road and back to their car. About 15 miles of biking.
Well, a couple of things happened along the route. The first was snow. The night before, the snow level had dropped to 2,000 feet and obviously dumped a few inches on the higher elevations. And then there were the bears (well, fresh tracks).
After about three miles — when the steady climb of the trail finally levels off, and close to the primitive camp site on the trail — our two intrepid adventurers decided it was safest to head back.
Hey, it’s always wise to be safe.
But this is a fun factoid to remember for future guests — that this trail is open to bikes, is close to the bnb, and offers a rich variety of terrain, from the low and moist redwood forest to the fir- and oak-strewn upper plateau before descending again to the road and follow-the-South-Fork glide back to the forks, the park and your car.
Not a bad way to spend the day on the only bike-friendly trail in the nearby National Park, eh?
But do watch out for the bears.