Austin Creek State Recreation Area


Austin Creek State Recreation Area
17000 Armstrong Woods Rd.
Guerneville, CA 95446
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Austin Creek State Recreation Area is adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and is accessed through the same entrance. With open woodlands, rolling hills, and meadows, its topography offers a strong contrast to the dense, primeval redwood forest below. Here you will discover deep tree-lined ravines cooled by year round streams; grassy hillsides burnished golden by the heat of summer sun and turned emerald by plentiful winter rains; oak capped knolls that seem to float like islands on lakes of lowland fog; and rocky mountaintops that showcase an almost panoramic view. A paradise for the hiker and equestrian, Austin Creek rewards the explorer with twenty miles of trails and panoramic wilderness views, back-country camping, and Bullfrog Pond Campground- accessible by vehicle. The park’s rugged topography, with elevations ranging from 150-1500 feet in elevation, offers a sense of isolation from the accustomed sights and sounds of civilization. Be advised that vehicle access to the park and campground is by way of a steep, narrow, winding, 2.5-mile-long, mountain road. For safety reasons, no vehicle over 20 feet in length is allowed on this road. Vehicles with trailers or other towed vehicles are also prohibited. Licensed anglers may fish Bullfrog Pond, but all streams are closed to fishing to protect important spawning habitat. A historic feature of Austin Creek SRA is the remaining buildings of Pond Farm Pottery. This was the home, workshop, and school of the internationally renowned ceramic artist, Marguerite Wildenhain, who settled here after World War II. Formerly a student at Germany’s famous Bauhaus school of design, Wildenhain enjoyed and was inspired by the peace and natural beauty of this area. Summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees, although mornings can still be cool. In the winter it will occasionally drop below freezing and the 50+ inches of annual rainfall generally includes an occasional snow flurry. Always carry plenty of water and wear layered clothing. Twenty three family campsites are located near Bullfrog Pond. Campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis. The campground is subject to seasonal closure. Tables, fire rings, flush toilets and potable water are provided, but no showers are available. Back country primitive campsites are located at the Tom King and Manning Flat sites. Each campsite has a table and fire ring. Pit toilets are located nearby. A year-round stream is nearby, but this water supply must be purified before drinking. Use of a micro filter is recommended. The primitive sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need a backcountry permit to camp in our primitive backcountry campsites. You may register for camping at Bullfrog Pond Campground at our kiosk at the entrance to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. However, if the kiosk is closed, you will need to self-register for camping at Bullfrog Pond at the entrance to Bullfrog Pond Campground in Austin Creek. You will find self-pay envelopes and self-registration instructions at the registration site. Backcountry camping permits are ONLY available by applying in person at either the Stewards office or front kiosk. Ground fires are prohibited during periods of extreme fire danger, although camp stoves can still be used for cooking in all but the most critical periods of fire danger when camping is not permitted at all. Dogs are permitted on paved roads ONLY. Equestrian use of trails is subject to seasonal closure based on trail conditions. You will need to call the park before your visit to confirm the status of our trails. All horse trailers must remain down in the parking lots of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. A horse riding and pack station concession providing guided day and overnight trips is located 1/2 mile west of the Armstrong Tree in Armstrong Redwoods State park. Horse rentals are available though a private company that is adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods.