This is a fascinating yet under-appreciated trail easily accessed from the 101 just south of Crescent City. The total length is a full-day’s worth seven miles but I usually recommend two short sections – one about two miles in length and the other about three miles.
Both sections of the trail are accessed from the road to the Mill Creek campground just off the 101. The first is a short hike to the south from the campground road and parallel to the 101. The trail drops down below the highway’s grade exposing the cut end of giant redwood logs used as the foundation for the original redwood highway, Hwy. 101, built in the 1920s. This unique perspective puts the hiker about 20 feet below the highway, looking up onto the butt ends of dozens of redwoods trees used to ballast the fill and gravel under the paved roadway above. Have a good look, take some photos, then backtrack to the campground road, cross it and pick up the other spur of this circle trail.
Follow this second north-heading trail section about two miles as it windsdown to a creek, past dozens and dozens of stumps of the old-growth giant logged over the last century. Why hike among mere stumps? Because around those stumps are what is called fairy rings, dozens of second growth redwoods that form a ring around the st
ump. It is truly an interesting and unique site in the forest. The turnaround option I recommend is at a spot in the forest reminiscent of the Grove of Titans.
In the late fall and winter, Hobbs-Wall trail can also be lined with edible mushrooms — yellow foot, chanterelle and hedgehog.
Have fun on this seldom-hiked trail and enjoy these two unique features the likes of which you won’t see anywhere else. And if you hike the full trail be sure to bring a trail map as there are numerous intersections with other trails you need to get right so you don’t turn this already long trek into an unmentioned wild goose chase.
In the spring and summer when the campground gates are open, park immediately opposite the trail heads. In the winter, park at the kiosk and walk the 300 feet in to the trailheads.