Prairie Creek, an unassuming waterway that enters the Pacific Ocean near Orick, is also the namesake of the 23-square-mile Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, a sanctuary of old-growth redwoods set aside in the early 1920s by the State of California and the Save-the-Redwoods League. The park has been designated a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
The busy Visitor Center, located at the southern end of the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway and built next to Elk Prairie, is the starting point for several hiking trails suitable for all-day hikes or short, leisurely strolls. During your visit you’ll come across many different kinds of trees. You will almost certainly also spot some of the abundant wildlife, especially Roosevelt elk. Other resident species include deer, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats and foxes, and more than 260 species of birds have been sighted here. There are also nearly 10 miles of beach to stroll along, as well as the amazing Fern Canyon to explore. The park hosts campgrounds and numerous picnic areas among the redwoods and on the beach, and is home to the beautiful Rotary Grove off Cal Barrow Road east from Newton B. Drury Parkway.