Russ Park can be accessed through the main entrance on Bluff Street.
There are four trails through the park:
|Trail||Distance||Aprox. Time||Alt. Change|
|Lytel Ridge – Eucalyptus Trail||1.5 miles||1 hour||350 ft.|
|Francis Creek – Daddy Bush Trail||1 mile||45 mins.||450 ft.|
|Village Trail to Zipporah’s Pond||1 mile||35 mins.||500 ft.|
|Skunk Cabbage Exit Trail||1/5 mile||10 mins.||100ft.|
A Brief History
On October 31, 1920, Mrs. Zipporah Patrick Russ donated this 105-acre tract to the City of Ferndale. The deed states: “That the property be used forever as a park and recreation grounds… as a refuge and breeding place for birds.”
The park was originally fully wooded with Sitka Spruce and Grand Fir, much as it is today. These two dominant trees would have been interspersed with scattered Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Redwood, which was never a dominant species in the park. In fact, it is questionable that there were Redwoods here at all. Prior to 1852, the trees would have been more majestic, with fewer ground shrubs, berries and open spaces.
The hillside was evidently cleared in the mid-1850s and used for cattle or sheep grazing. No structural remains have been found in the park, except for scattered fences materials and the remains of a dump south of the Eucalyptus grove. The large Sitka Spruce immediately up from the main parking lot was cored in 1989 by a biologist from Redwood National Park and was documented to date from the early 1870s.
By the time Zipporah Russ donated the land to the City, the trees were well on their way to creating a closed-canopy forest once again.