Every forest has their own little hideaway spots that seem more magical than the others, gems that aren't normally known by the rest of the population. The Secret Trail to a Waterfall is exactly what this is and does what its name implies, offers a secret, unmarked trail that leads to gorgeous waterfall views.
Thankfully despite being unmarked, this trail is pretty easy to find. It's at the end of the County Road 409 where the asphalt turns into gravel, on the right of the road past a metal gate. Parking is available along the side of the road for free, although you will need to bring your own water and clean-up bags. After walking past the gate, you'll find yourself on a 6-foot wide trail made from gravel, crushed stone, and compacted soil.
The trail passes through the thick woods of the Mendocino Woodlands State Park, where tall firs, pines, and oak trees provide plenty of shade over the trail. Most of the trail remains pretty even along the way, but does pass by some sharp drop downs and hills along the side of the trail. After about 15 minutes of walking, you and Fido will find your first landmark: a bridge that crosses over Casper Creek where the trail follows along the creek. After another 3 minutes, the trail comes upon its hidden gem, the 30-foot waterfall that descends along Casper Creek.
With a little caution, you can step into the creek and cool off, but note that the water is usually pretty cold year round! Afterward, heading back along the trail will provide gorgeous scenery of the surrounding forests. Once back, you'll realize this secret trail is best left a secret, one that you'll only want to keep between you and your best friend.
The trail passes by some steep drop downs, so be careful to not get too close to the edge. Since rocks are slippery and wet near the waterfall, use caution when stepping here.