Route: Middle Fork National Recreation Trail (CA)

Submitted by Aria Zoner on Thu, 12/31/2020 - 12:03pm
California, US
11.4 mi
Vertical Gain
2,330 ft

The Middle Fork National Recreation Trail follows alongside the Middle Fork of the Applegate River, a chief contributor of Applegate Lake. This narrow but runnable trail climbs through a lush forest covered in moss. The trail however, is recognized for its unique pothole formations in the river and is divided into an upper and lower section with the lower having dogwood and big leaf maple trees and the upper, white fir and incense cedar. The river itself is almost always within eyesight. Numerous tributaries are crossed as well, so finding water is never an issue. Approaching the trailhead, dozens of free riverside camping sites are passed. This area is also popular with black bears, pine martens, and bigfoot hunters, so be careful out there and make sure to wear your safety orange!

The Route: Middle Fork NRT extends from the Middle Fork Trailhead to an upper one, at Bean Gulch. Both trailheads are signed and accessible by regular passenger vehicles.

Permits: None

Dangers: Tripping on rocks and roots that are hidden beneath the moss, snagging ground cover vines that can rip a shoe off or leave an ankle bloody, and falling into a pristine swimming hole then forgetting you're on an FKT run!