June 20, 2009

Henry Cowell Hiking - Fall Creek

On our second day of camping at Henry Cowell we drove to the Fall Creek Unit of the park for our hike. The parking area is a dirt lot just off Felton-Empire Road, we nearly missed it. This part of the park is not as well known. There were only a handful of cars when we set off on Bennett Creek Trail to Fall Creek Trail. Our plan was to hike through the redwoods to see the old limestone kilns. Hiking along the creek was nice and peaceful, except for the bird that seemed to keep just ahead of us. We ended up following that bird to Barrel Mill site, which used to be just that. The site was used to transform redwoods into barrels used for limestone and you can still see some of the old rusted equipment. It was a great spot to take a break and imagine what the area was like 100 years ago when the mill was in use. We headed back and took Kiln Trail to see the remains of the old limekilns, mainly remnants of the stone structures. This was a popular site, we saw people resting on nearby benches, walking along the edge of the nearby creek and just enjoying nature. After some picture taking we headed back to the car. The hike was just under 5 miles.

Barrel Mill Site

Limestone Kiln