Jessica Cejnar / Thursday, Nov. 5 @ 10:02 a.m.

Hike & Bike A Car-Free Newton B. Drury Through Prairie Creek This Weekend


Newton B. Drury Parkway will be closed the first Saturday of the month through June to allow hikers and bikers a tranquil jaunt through Prairie Creek. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Hike and Bike through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park on a Newton B. Drury Parkway free of vehicles this Saturday.

From a Redwood National and State Parks news release Thursday:

Pump up your bicycle tires! Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway will be closed to all vehicle traffic—creating a wonderful opportunity for cyclists and walkers—all day Saturday, November 7. Redwood National and State Parks is once again hosting “Hike and Bike” days on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park on the first Saturdays of the month, October through June. During “Hike and Bike” days the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway will be closed to motorized vehicles from Friday nights at 5 p.m. until re-opening Sunday mornings. During the closures, access to the Elk Prairie Campground and Visitor Center will remain open. Closing the 10-mile through route to motorized vehicles provides an opportunity for park visitors to safely experience the parkway without the competing noise and congestion of cars and trucks. Come explore by foot, bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades or any other non-motorized vehicle. (Electric bicycles are not allowed.) Dogs-on-leash are also welcome on the parkway, although prohibited on park trails for the safety of wildlife, visitors and the pets. 

 Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway is located off of and parallel to Highway 101 six miles north of Orick, Calif., and four miles south of Klamath, Calif. Parking is available along the southern parkway in designated spaces parallel to the roadway and also in parking spaces on the road to the campground. Please do not block the gate or park in lots reserved for visitor center or backcountry use.

In the north, parking is available at the junction of Coastal Drive and Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. Again: please do not block the gates. The nearby Prairie Creek Visitor Center and Redwood Parks Conservancy gift store provide information, maps, and an array of sales items for learning more about the parks and commemorating your trip.

Restrooms are also nearby and at the Big Tree parking area. However, there are no food sales in the area, so it is a good idea to pack snacks or a picnic to enjoy after your ride. Also, bring water and be prepared for variable weather conditions. 

The parkway has something for everyone—from families with young children looking for a safe and easy ride, to those looking for a more physically-challenging experience. Much of the southern end of the parkway is relatively flat, while the hills of the northern portion require more energy.

However, all efforts are rewarded by a long, smooth downhill glide all the way back to the prairie. In addition, although the parkway is closed, many of the trails for both short and long hikes begin within a short walk from the parking areas.   

During this pandemic (and always) staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. Exploring Redwood National and State Parks is a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air, and stay active. The outside air and the long, wide expanse of the parkway offer an opportunity to recreate safely while still practicing social distancing. Redwood National and State Parks practices and encourages all to continue to follow CDC guidelines to protect against exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by:  

  • Wearing a mask. 
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with. 
  • Washing your hands often. 

Mark your calendar and make the first Saturdays—October through June—your regular date for a fun adventure in the redwoods!

For more information about the first Saturday parkway closures or other ways to enjoy your parks, call the Redwood National and State Parks Information Office at (707) 464-6401, or stop by a Redwood National and State Parks visitor center. Information is also available on the Redwood National and State Parks website at:  www.nps.gov/redw.

For additional information about Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, visit: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=415


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