Someone Paul Buyanesque in stature sure would be handy at Redwood National and State Parks, where the toppling of four massive trees has blocked access to roughly 8 miles of the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
The trees fell across the parkway last Wednesday just north of the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. Park maintenance crews estimate this section of the parkway will remain closed at least through the end of October as they work to safely remove the trees and assess possible road damage. The actual fall occurred at mile marker 132.2, about two miles south of the north closure gate and six miles north of the south closure gate.
All park trails remain open and Elk Prairie Campground, the Prairie Creek Visitor Center, and Davidson Road out to Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon are still accessible by vehicle. In addition, the section of parkway that is closed to motor vehicles is not closed to pedestrians or bicyclists.
Park crews will work hard to open the road as soon as possible, but meanwhile this is a great opportunity for the public to enjoy some great peaceful bike rides and walks without
the worry of traffic. The only vehicles on the closed section of the parkway will be occasional park vehicles and heavy equipment. October, with its dry, balmy weather and changing autumn colors is the perfect time to gather family and friends and head to the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway for a traffic-free, leisurely ride or stroll.
Visitors wishing to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the parkway without traffic are asked to park in the designated parking places located parallel to the road in the south section of the park adjacent to the prairie, not blocking the gate or filling the lots reserved for the visitor center or backcountry users. In the north, parking is available at the junction of Coastal Drive; again, please do not block the gate. Also, for their safety, visitors should avoid the actual location of the trees and heavy equipment operations.
For more information, maps, and suggestions for exploring your parks, stop by the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center located on Highway 101 just south of Orick, California, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Visitor Center, Hiouchi Visitor Center off of Hwy. 199, or Redwood National and State Parks Visitor Center at 1111 Second Street in Crescent City, California.
All four visitor centers are open seven days a week during this time of year. Information can also be obtained by calling (707) 465-7335 (M-F) or visiting the RNSP website at:www.nps.gov/redw.