This is a beautiful trail, just two miles round trip, that packs a more subtle punch than other nearby trails. Look not for redwoods but for wild flowers, mushrooms, and the reclusive Darlingtonia.
There are few redwoods on the trail (only at the beginning of the hike). Instead, you’ll encounter species associated with the interior environment — tan oak, Port Orford cedar and red alder. Generally it’s a riparian environment of dense woodlands. Nothing hugely dramatic. But this is one of the mellowest and most peaceful of trails. And that it’s the nearest trail to the bnb, makes for easy access, even before breakfast if your inclined to stretch your legs before muffins.
The trail follows the course of the creek as well as a water diversion ditch used in the late 1800s for a hydraulic gold mining operation (remnants of the Myrtle Creek Mining Company operation). Fourteen all-weather placards with historical or ecological information make this one of the few interpretive trails around but don’t think it’s a lessor trail for it. This is our go-to trail when we need to breath fresh air, take the dog on a ramble or reconnect to wildflowe
rs or mushrooms, depending on the season. It’s one of the most colorful trails in the spring, with a broad array of wildflowers, and also in the fall with a profusion of maple and other shrubs that change color with the season.
A couple of small footbridges cross secondary creeks. Fifteen interpretive signposts along the way give a good introduction to plant life along the trail as well as nuggets of information related to the mining of gold. There’s a closed off mine at the trail’s beginning and a patch of carnivorous Darlingtonia plants (also known as the California pitcher plant) about a third of the way in on your left. While federal regs require dogs to be leashed, most canines I’ve encountered on this trail are running free.
The trail ends in quiet ceremony with a scramble over a rickety and derelict footbridge (be very careful) and a decent to Myrtle Creek.
Directions from the bnb: Turn right on to 199 as if heading toward Stout Grove. Just before the right hand turn to Stout (still on 199), you’ll see a sign post identifying the Myrtle Creek trail. Park in the expansive parking area on your right, cross 199.
Myrtle Creek Trail
Length: 2 miles roundtrip
Trail Type: one-way in, one-way out
Difficulty: easy save for a short but steep climb up from 199 at the trail’s beginning
Change in elevation/climbing: 250 ft
Location, distance from bnb~hiouchi: trailhead and parking just a mile east on Hwy. 199 (make a right on 199). Look for the trail head on your left and parking area on your right, just before the right turn to Stout Grove; less that 5 minutes by car
Snapshot description: Interpretive trail of historical and botanical significance is a breeze to walk; in the spring the trail will be lined with wild flowers. Some interesting artifacts from gold rush days connect the trail to real-world events of yore. Located just outside the National and State parks (but within the Smith River national Recreation Area), this is a dog-friendly trail and is highly recommended for dog owners.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]