Prairie Creek Gateway Trail Planning
NRS is assisting Save the Redwoods League (SRL) with trail planning and trail interpretive planning at the Orick Mill Site, just north of Orick along Bald Hills Road. SRL purchased the old mill site in 2013 and is working with Redwood National & State Parks to plan and construct a new visitor center for the Park at this location. The old mill site will become the new gateway to the Redwood parks along Prairie Creek. The property has many assets including an old timber haul road from Bald Hills Road, paralleling Highway 101 to connect to an existing hiking and biking trail system in Redwood National Park and Prairie Creek State Park. The NRS team assesses ways to improve hiking and bicycle trail connectivity within the Prairie Creek valley to provide an off-highway trail option for visitors and touring cyclists, to plan sustainable trails around the proposed visitors center to bring visitors directly into the redwoods and floodplain to learn about and appreciate the natural and cultural history of the area. NRS also works with Redwood National Park staff to plan a trail route from the visitors’ center directly into old-growth areas to connect to the popular Lady Bird Johnson grove. NRS staff coordinate with a vast team working on visitor center building design and visitor experience design and restoration opportunities at the mill site.