Picnic Road

An easy walk in the Mill Creek Watershed

Length 3.1 mi · Climbing 70 ft
California > Redwood National and State Parks > Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Picnic Road

Trail access restored

This trail had been abandoned for years and, more recently, became inaccessible due to the removal of a culvert. However, as of May 2022 there’s a nice new steel auto bridge at the beginning (with a chain across it), and the road has been restored. I haven’t had a chance to hike the re-graded road, so I don’t know how far it goes.


This deteriorating streamside road is a nice introduction to the Mill Creek Watershed. The flat, peaceful route is shaded by big maples and offers a few scenic views of the surrounding hills. A burbling creek runs alongside the road. The leafy scenery has a certain wholesomeness and makes a nice break from the redwoods.


Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps.

Mill Creek Watershed is only open Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5. After passing the entrance kiosk, continue for about 2 miles and look for the first dirt road to your right. Park in the semicircular pullout.

Click map to show all trails and roads
Part of the Trail Map of Redwood National and State Parks (Redwood Hikes Press, 2021)

Hike description

The road isn’t anything special at first, but the scenery improves soon after another dirt road breaks off to your right. There are two mammoth redwood stumps partially hidden in the brush to your left and a huge standing dead redwood to your right, but otherwise there aren’t a whole lot of redwoods or signs of logging. The road doesn’t seem to be maintained and gets more and more overgrown the further you go. At one point there’s a fallen log that you have to scramble over. At 1.4 miles, the road dead-ends in a grassy clearing. The road used to cross the stream and continued on the other side, but there’s now no trace of the road on the opposite bank.

Fall color on the West Branch of Mill Creek


© 2010, 2015 David Baselt