A friend had recommended the ecological staircase trail, so we decided to check it out. We had the print-out from the website describing the trail, but there were no maps available at the parking lot. For much of the trail, we followed numbered markers (1, 2, 3, etc.), but there were no other signs or trail names. Once we exited the pygmy forest, there was an arrow pointing right. We followed it--it was a wide trail, like a fire road--and ended up completely lost. Thank goodness we saw the backyard of a home and took the risk of entering the back yard to ask the homeowner for directions, or if we could walk out her driveway to get back to Hwy 1. She told us a number of other people had shown up at her door, also lost, and that we were so far from the highway that it would not be possible to walk there from her house. This lovely woman gave us a ride back to the parking lot, telling us about the bears and mountain lions that had been sighted in the forest. We could have ended up spending the night in the wet forest if it weren't for her! I recommend walking along the coastal bluffs and skipping the ecological staircase trail!
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