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Ossagon Trail Loop



20.4 mile 32.8 kilometer loop
40% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,864' 568 m
Descent: -1,866' -569 m
High: 734' 224 m
Low: 19' 6 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


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Trail shared by Andreas Boehme


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Great Northcoast MTB ride through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park with Ossagon trail as highlight.

Andreas Boehme

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


This popular mountain bike loop has a lot variety. It travels through old growth redwood forest, coastal Sitka spruce forest, prairie, and along the beach. The route travels along 6 miles of paved roads before turning to 5 miles of singletrack and 7.5 miles of gravel/dirt roads. Although the riding is not very technical,it is a lot of fun, especially the Ossagon trail which features some fast twisty singletrack.

There are areas of special interest such as a cool waterfall, Fern Canyon, and Gold Bluffs beach. You can't avoid getting wet because there are several creek crossings and a particularly troublesome swampy area along the beach. If you choose, you can also camp out along the way.

Need to Know

You may be lucky to view a herd of Roosevelt Elk grazing in Elk Prairie.


To get to the start, head 40 miles north from Arcata to Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway. Go approximately 1.2 miles and turn left and park near the visitors center at Elk Prairie.

From the parking, head north on Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway. The route travels along 6 miles along the paved road, but there's usually not much traffic. Watch out for cars anyway. Elevation is almost even, only very moderate climbing. Enjoy the impressive drive right through old growth redwoods and coastal forest

At mile 6.3, turn left on the Ossagon trail (there's a sign explicitly allowing bike riding on this path). This is a really good fun section. After a short climb on perfectly soft forest soil, the singletrack becomes a fast twisty downhill with some features and lots of flow. There's a rideable creek-crossing (if the water is not too high) right at the end of the downhill at mile 8.

Reaching the plain now, take the first trail left on the left, which is the Coastal Trail and veer left through a swampy area. The landscape changes to prairie and coastal vegetation, while you ride parallel to the beach and always close to the edge of the woods.

Ignore all trail intersections to the left (hiking only) and continue straight, among others at the West Ridge Trail intersection at mile 9. Half a mile later, stop to check out the cool 100 foot waterfall on your left hidden in the woods. There might be some fallen trees across the Coastal Trail, so be prepared for short stops and hike-a-bike sections.

Next highlight at mile 11.5 is the famous Fern Canyon, a narrow canyon where the walls are completely covered by luxuriant ferns and mosses dripping with moisture. Stop to checkout this beautiful place and unforgettable natural wonder that Steven Spielberg chose as a location for his movie Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World. Coming back to the canyon's end, bear left to stay on the Coastal Trail .

A few minutes later at mile 12 you'll reach the end/beginning of Davidson Road, a loose gravel forest road open to car traffic. There is a bathroom located in the parking area and you do also have beach access to the famous Gold Bluffs Beach, that was mined for gold dust in the past (a venture that was never very profitable).

Continue approximately 5 miles along Davidson Road, pass the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and the park entrance gate (bicycles ride for free). You'll turn away from the coast line and need to manage the last climb of the day (approx. 250 ft). At mile 17.5 turn left onto the Streelow Creek Trail back to the Elk Prairie Campground. There used to be a sign saying "bicycle/jogging" trail, but that was gone the last time I've ridden there. The Streelow Creek Trail is an old road that has overgrown into a fast singletrack. Enjoy 1.5 more miles of trail riding, then stay straight over the bridge and continue on dirt road.

At mile 19, make a left on the forest road and shortly after another right into a narrow trail. You'll reach the open space of Elk Prairie shortly after. Pass through the gate at mile 20 and turn left proceeding through the second gate. Follow the signs back to the start at Prairie Creek Redwoods visitors center.

History & Background

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is a state park, located in Humboldt County, California, near the town of Orick and 50 miles (80 km) north of Eureka. The 14,000 acre (57 km) park is a coastal sanctuary for old-growth Coast Redwood trees.

The park is jointly managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service as a part of the Redwood National and State Parks. These parks (which includes Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park) have been collectively designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed


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Oct 5, 2019
Chris F
Aug 18, 2019
Chris F
Aug 1, 2019
Jacob Krumm
epic trail. tks for the map. loved it 20.4mi — 2h 30m
May 10, 2019
Jayne DuVall
The coastal trail had quite a bit of water and mud. Loads of fun. 20.6mi — 12h 50m
Dec 20, 2018
Lance McDonald
Rain, Rain, Rain. 19.7mi — 2h 31m
Sep 15, 2018
Jeff Pockett
Fun ride! 20.5mi
Jul 24, 2018
Francis P
Jul 16, 2018
Brandon Pardi

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Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 15 votes


  3.8 from 15 votes
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in California


65 Views Last Month
10,818 Since Oct 2, 2014



Yield to elk, they can be much faster than you on your bike. Do not approach and give them some space, they're fun to watch!
Sep 12, 2014 near Westhav…, CA
Usually little traffic on this paved road segment with beautiful Redwood trees left and right.
Sep 12, 2014 near Westhav…, CA
In March, this area is beautiful but be prepared to go through cold water!
Mar 8, 2017 near Bertsch…, CA
Fun ride on a very smooth segment of the Coastal Trail. Watch out for elk!
Sep 12, 2014 near Westhav…, CA
Trailhead for the Ossagon Trail at miles 5.7. Leave the road and turn left here.
Sep 12, 2014 near Bertsch…, CA
This giant bull elk, owning the trail. We had to walk out into the meadow to get around him and his herd.
Oct 28, 2016 near Westhav…, CA

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