This tiny, little-known roadside park outside of Laytonville is most notable for being the southernmost of the Eel River redwood parks. It's a bit of a surprise to discover that the most iconic of all North Coast redwood waterways extends all the way to south to an area that looks and feels very much like a part of Central California.
Although located on a broad floodplain of the Eel, the park has a rather mundane upland appearance more typical of redwood uplands, with small to medium-side redwoods among a dense tanoak and huckleberry understory. The lack of any really big trees is probably due to the relatively high elevation combined with the nearby 2500-foot-tall ridge that cuts the grove off from summer fog.
The park doesn't have any trails or other facilities, just an unmarked dirt road where you can take a very short walk or drive. The "State Recreation Area" name is rather misleading, as are the official website's promises of fishing opportunities, since there doesn't seem to be any way to reach the river to go fishing or otherwise recreate.
The park's biggest redwoods (which aren't that big) are found along Mud Creek Road. Take the unmarked cutoff road into the woods and turn right onto Mud Creek Road at the intersection. There's a sign saying the road is private, but it appears to be within the park up to about the first driveway. Look for a grouping of mid-sized redwoods a few yards past the intersection.
© 2017 David Baselt