About 300 miles north of San Francisco, there is an awesome place called Fern Valley. Fern Valley is a hidden(ish) gem located within Redwood National and State Park. There is a lovely 1 mile loop where you walk alongside a creek and are engulfed in a valley of ferns (hence the name).
We followed the creek, not the 1 mile loop somehow and ended up with quite an adventure. It wasn't technically a trail so we were walking through the stream and climbing over trees to trek forward. After a few slow miles conquerring all the hurdles, we finally spotted a way we could climb up the valley and connect with the John Muir Trail. Hooray!
If coming up to the area for the weekend, I recommend looking into housing early! We stayed in Eureka and there's not much to rave about in that town (to be kind). Trinidad is a super cute town just north of Eureka - I recommend trying to stay there. One morning I woke up for the sunrise and instead enjoyed a quite and calm morning on Trinidad State Beach. It was just me and someone sleeping by a fire!