Prairie Creek Redwoods National and State Parks
The most extensive accessible trail system in Humboldt County is in the Elk Prairie/Big Tree areas of Prairie Creek Redwood State Park and Redwood National Park. This trail system offers many ways to mix and match the trails that network this area. Included in the route are magnificent old growth redwoods, picturesque Prairie Creek, the open grasslands of Elk Prairie, a nature trail, and miles of accessible trail.
Getting there: Proceed north on US 101 47 miles to Exit 753 (Newton B. Drury Parkway) and on through Redwood National and State Parks. Turn left (0.2 mile) on the Parkway and proceed north for about 2.0 miles to the Big Tree Wayside, a signed right turn into a spacious parking lot that often fills during the peak summer tourist season. It is also possible to park at the Prairie Creek Redwoods Visitor Center and in identified pull-outs along Newton B. Drury Parkway. Approximate driving time, 55 minutes.
The routes: The Big Tree Wayside – Prairie Creek Trail – Davison Trail and/or Elk Prairie Trail – Foothill Trail Loop (5.2 miles). This hard-packed gravel accessible trail may be slightly easier to follow in a clockwise direction. From the trailhead on the east side of the Big Tree Wayside parking lot, turn right joining the Foothill Trail, an old wagon road built in 1894 to connect Crescent City and Arcata.