The Chamberlain Creek Trail offers a beautiful, accessible waterfall hike in the Jackson State Forest near Fort Bragg. Fifty-foot falls tumble down a sheer rock face framed by ferns and into a grove of old-growth redwoods where time stands still. Birds twitter as light filters down through the richly scented branches. A tumbling stream splashes in the background: tranquility. You and your dog will want to pause here just to look, listen, and sniff for a while. Maybe you'll pull your treats out of your bag, or maybe you'll forget they're even there.
Note that this out-of-the way trail is named differently in different reference guides. "Chamberlain Creek Trail," "Chamberlain Falls Trail," "Camellia Trail," and "Waterfall Grove Trail" are all used interchangeably for this 3-mile loop hike. There are other similarly named trails nearby, too. To do this particular hike, make sure that you head north on Road 200, away from the campgrounds and recreation areas on Highway 20 (Fort Bragg-Willits Road), where the "Chamberlain Creek Demonstration Trail" loops are found. Follow the westernmost branch of Road 200, now West Chamberlain Road, when it splits. You'll take that road until you reach the intersection with Road 1000 (3 Chop Road), where there are some places you can pull off and park.
The trail begins at the southwest corner of the intersection of Road 200 and Road 1000. From there, hike counterclockwise along the ridge above the canyon. You'll descend to a redwood grove and eventually come to Chamberlain Falls. Continue south beyond the falls and you'll eventually climb some switchbacks and some stairs back to Road 200. You can hike back the way you came or follow the road for a half-mile walk back to your car to make a loop. Alternately, you can park at the stairs and do the hike in the reverse direction.
It's easy to forget you're a half-hour from the ocean in this deep forest. You might want to end your day with a picnic overlooking the sea. You and your pup will go home with a smile and a wag after your magical adventure at Chamberlain Creek Falls.