Just north of the Russian River at Guerneville
HIGHLIGHTS: Just a few miles north of the Russian River at Guerneville, Austin Creek SRA and Armstrong Redwoods are complementary. Austin Creek is sunny and open, with grasslands and rolling hills dotted with other conifers and oaks. You’ll find panoramic views and abundant wildlife, including wood ducks and spotted owls.
Save the Redwoods League has protected almost 1,700 acres in Austin Creek SRA.
ACTIVITIES: Austin Creek SRA offers self-guided nature trails, horseback riding, and a variety of picnic facilities. Some of the best redwoods lie along the single-lane road that takes you from the park entrance to the Armstrong Tree. The other main attractions are an easy stroll along trails accessible to people with disabilities.
VISITOR CENTER: The visitor center is by the parking lot at the entrance to the park, which is 3 miles north of Guerneville on Armstrong Woods Road. Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday thru Sunday.
CAMPGROUNDS: Enjoy the 23-site Bullfrog campground at Austin Creek. From the entrance, travel north through Armstrong Redwoods SNR for about 1 mile on a steep, winding, one-lane road. Then follow the signs to Austin Creek SRA and the campground. No reservations necessary. Austin Creek SRA also has three backcountry sites. Because of the narrow winding access road, the maximum vehicle length 20 feet. Trailers or towed vehicles are prohibited.
TRAILS: 20 miles of trails. For a strenuous but rewarding trip, try the Austin Creek Trail. This 9-mile round-trip loop takes you along an unpaved service road, down a 900-foot drop in elevation into a canyon of meadows and forest groves at 300 feet above sea level. Nearly 5 miles into the hike, you will meet Gilliam Creek Trail and make your way back to the trailhead along Gilliam Creek.
MUST-SEE UNIQUE FEATURE OR SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT: An incredible range of wilderness and a diverse array of ecosystems make Austin Creek a real charm. Visit in any season and see the unique variety of wildflowers and the birdlife they support.
HIDDEN GEM: Marguerite Wildenhain, a student of the Bauhaus school of design, lived in this area following World War II. Some of the remaining buildings of Pond Farm Pottery, where she made many works of beauty with the inspiration of the natural world around her, can be visited throughout the year.
FEATURES ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Parking, restrooms and some campsites.
DOGS: Not allowed on trails or dirt roads. On leash elsewhere. In tent or vehicle at night.
ENTRANCE FEE: $8 for day-use vehicle entry; no charge to walk or bike into the park.
EAT: Boon (external link), on the main drag, offers fresh seasonal ingredients from Sonoma County.
STOP: For shopping and restaurants, make a quick stop in Guerneville.
FAVORITE HIKE: The Pool Ridge Trail offers a dramatic contrast between the cool redwood grove below and the open forest and rolling hills above. Although the trail only drops 500 feet in elevation, the upper portion is very steep. The trail itself is 4.2 miles one way and can be used to access Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve.
FAVORITE PARK ATTRACTION: This park features 23 car camping sites, and three backcountry hike-in sites.
DON’T MISS: Be sure not to miss the ancient redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Park.
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Acres Protected by the League: 1,692
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