Redwood National and State Parks press release:
The Newton B. Drury Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has re-opened for vehicle traffic as of this morning, Saturday, April 29th. For the first time since a massive 15-foot diameter old-growth redwood fell across the road in early February, park visitors will be able to travel the 10-mile scenic drive.
The Parkway is the most popular destination in the parks and is accessible by regular vehicles, motor homes, and trailers. Trailheads along the scenic corridor provide access to more than 50 miles of hiking trails in the world’s second largest old-growth redwood forest.
Coast redwoods have shallow root systems – often less than 10 feet deep. With extremely wet weather, the soil beneath the tree can become saturated making these 300 foot giants vulnerable to toppling in high winds. Tree falls are fairly common through the winter, but rarely force long-term closures of roads and trails.
However, not only did this massive tree need to be removed from the roadway, the weight of the tree caused significant damage to the asphalt and the sub-surface of the road. An extremely wet winter combined with the limited availability of material and crews working on other critical road repair projects in the region necessitated this lengthy closure. With better weather arriving on the north coast this week, park crews have finally been able to repair the road damage and re-open the road to vehicles.
Due to the long closure this winter, the May 6th Prairie Creek Bike and Hike Day on the Parkway has been cancelled. The next Bike and Hike Day when the parkway is open only to pedestrians and bikers is scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd.
For more information on Redwood National and State Parks and on the current status of park roads, trails, and other activities, check out our web page at www.nps.gov/redw or find us as “RedwoodNPS” on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You may also call the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center at 707-465-7765 for information on park roads, trails and other activities.