Stout Grove could very well represent the best that Redwood National and State Parks has to offer. The short loop has everything a redwood forest could offer - peaceful vibes, lush ferns covering the floor, and old-growth trees that filter the incoming sunlight.
Elevation Change: 40 ft
Trail Type: Loop
Miles: 0.6 (roundtrip)
Trailhead: Google Maps
Stout Grove is located off the scenic Howland Hill Road south of the Smith River. You'll need to take Douglas Park Drive after crossing the bridge, and keep right at the fork to make your way onto Howland Hill Road. Howland Hill Road itself could be a reason to travel this far north, as the road is a magical scenic drive through the heart of one of the best redwood stands in the world. The road is very narrow and eventually turns into a dirt road that a sedan could easily handle. The turn off to the Stout Grove parking lot will be on the right.
From the parking lot, follow the paved trail down to the forest floor. Once you reach the start of the loop, the rest of the trail is completely flat. There are two other trails that branch off the loop that lead to the Smith River and the Little Bald Hills Trail.
Having been here twice, the best time to go is definitely in the late afternoon to catch the sun rays shining through the trees. The entire forest has such a magical feel when bathed in the warm light.