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Mill Creek Trail

Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby fjkehl2 on Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:21 pm

Date Hiked: April 2, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked up the Mill Creek Trail from the signed trailhead along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. The trail is currently clear and very easy to follow up to the first crossing of Mill Creek, which is where we turned around. There's a lot of poison oak along both sides of the trail, but it's easy to avoid. Water levels are running high, and both Lion Creek and Mill Creek are wet fords at the moment. My son managed to find a small (2") scorpion under a rock - a first for us. We didn't find any ticks, although I'm sure they're out there. All in all, a very nice hike.

Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby trail_guy on Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:28 am

Date Hiked: June 30, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is mostly clear of poison oak but it is growing back so watch your step. Ticks are present on the sunny parts of the trail. No washouts. Debris from a number of downed trees has been cleared. Water available all along Mill Creek.

Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby Hillary on Mon May 11, 2015 9:19 am

Date Hiked: May 10, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked this on Sunday. The Mill Creek Trail is clear as previously reported. Lots of different paths to get to the same place.

However, I also did the Mill Creek Extension that Jack has on his maps. I was amazed at how easy it was to follow the trail. I had my Garmin GPS with his trail loaded in so I was able to very easily locate the left turn up the hill from Mill Creek Trail. It is pretty obvious to find since it is one of the few trails that goes up in elevation as opposed to following the creek. The trail was certainly overgrown with much of the overgrowth at eye level, but the footing was fine. Lots of PO. And the BIGGEST mushroom I've ever seen growing out of a tree.

Once I emerged into the grass land the trail was less obvious, but somebody (or something) had tromped down the grass at least a few days earlier. I followed a few "wrong turns" here and there and ended up just trying to follow the GPS. But the terrain is so gentle and open it really didn't matter if I was on trail or off trail. However, it was some of the tallest grass I've gone through. I definitely recommend gators and tick repellent. Some of the grass was as tall as me at points. Interestingly, at the first major ravine crossing after the grassy meadow there was some rubbish and three well consumed deer legs (no body or head....). There was a box of garbage bags, some garbage bags, a pair of blue latex gloves, roll of string, and a weird round plastic thing just smaller than a Frisbee. I had already picked up a bunch of trash along Mill Creek so I crammed as much as I could into the remaining space in my pack, but had to leave some behind. :-(

It got a bit trickier at about 1,500 feet as the GPS wanted me to fall off a cliff so either I didn't have a good GPS signal or the path is slightly off. It was pretty easy to see where to follow the elevation lines with gradual climb, but there were some rock outcroppings that were sketchy. Like Jack said, very loose footing and quite a tumble if you lost your footing. I made it to about 2,300 feet before turning back because of time. Trekking poles were essential. I wasn't ambitious enough to bring a shovel.

On my way home in my car I went up Naci-Ferg and went a little bit up Coast Ridge Road to see where the north end of the trail head would emerge. There was faint trail so it probably connects okay.

If you are going to embark on the Mill Creek Extension make sure you have plenty of time, good tick repellent coverage, gators, poles, and GPS. In all, it was a lot of fun and absolutely beautiful.


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Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby oaktown_joe on Fri May 08, 2015 10:34 am

Date Hiked: April 28, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I checked out this trail on a Tuesday, late afternoon. Half-ran it, half-hiked it. Hung out for around an hour, didn't see anyone else at all, no other cars at the trailhead.

Nice trail, pretty clear, plenty of water in the creek. It just kind of peters out in a way that you can't quite tell where it ended. I stopped after about 1.2 miles and turned around, which seemed to be the end of the maintained trail, both on the map and as far as I could see.
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Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby Joferd on Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:35 pm

Date Hiked: March 7, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is clear. No poison oak on trail, although it's getting close in some areas. Excellent shape, overall.

Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby margaret on Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:21 am

Date Hiked: June 29, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked this trail yesterday and happy to report that there is essentially no poison oak on the trail itself that you have to walk through. Has had a lot more in the past. Thanks to this group for all your hard work. A nice amount of water and lush and green. Makes you forget about the drought while there.

Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:53 pm

Date Hiked: September 28, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

It appears people have been maintaining this trail as I found it in better shape than I remember from my last hike in 2010. At a few places multiple usetrails exist, but on the whole the trail is apparent without any encroaching brush. Very enjoyable and cool at this time of year, although of course the falls have much less volume than normal.


PS: FYI "turnaround point" is near a large fire ring, from which one can also ascend up to the old DIggs homestead property.
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Re: Mill Creek Trail

Postby timothylfox on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:07 pm

Date Hiked: December 31, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My wife and I hiked this trail and found it mostly clear and passable. There were a couple points near the creek where the trail became undefined, and we aren't sure if we actually made it to the "turnaround" point of the trail. In any case, we saw only two other couples and found it a very pleasant hike.

Mill Creek Trail & Usetrail extension

Postby jack_glendening on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:24 am

Date Hiked: July 18, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Paul Danielson and I attempted to find a route from the South Coast Ridge Road down to the trailhead of the "Mill Creek Trail" along the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. Paul has previously hiked such a route. A USFS-provided "Mill Creek Trail" route goes from the South Coast Road to the N-F Road essentially in a creekbed for the entire route, but it's upper section differs greatly from the path previously taken by Paul, which went along the slope contours until much further down. We were primarily interested in finding and following the route he remembered, not the USFS route.

Speaking in reverse, i.e. starting from the the lower trailhead since this is the section familiar to most hikers, from the N-F road the trail slowly passes from sunny slope to redwood forest and then follows the north side of a rocky creek with many waterfalls (except for a short 250 ft stretch along the south side, with rocks making the steam crossings relatively easy). A nice cool place in summer. The trail is in good shape until 1.4 miles in, when it reaches a campsite with very wide and tall firering and home-built benches. Shortly afterward that creekbed trail appears to peter out and be little used, with downfall and other impediments, but we did not investigate that creekbed any further.

Immediately after that campsite, a usetrail leads upward and northwestward from the creekbed to the old Diggs homestead plateau (where a portion of the old orchard remains). It can take a bit of sleuthing to find and follow but is easy walking, emerging into grassland. Beyond the homestead, another usetrail leads upward to parallel the western-most fork of Mill Creek. Its lower portion goes through grass, encountering "Y"s with possible animal tracks where the best route is not apparent, and the tread is often thin - but it is very do-able. However in its upper portion, after the trail goes into the trees, the tread becomes more difficult to follow and is often eroded, requiring some slow and cautious traverses on dicey steep slopes having poor purchase (the upper-most 0.1 mile section required 20 minutes) - advise bringing a shovel to cut wider tread!

We did not try to follow the along-slope route higher than 1800 ft (1/4 mile above the start of that fork of the creek) since at that point an old road comes down to the creekbed which connects with the South Coast Ridge Road. We walked 1.1 miles along the roadbeds to reach the SCRR. We did not investigate another old roadbed spur which left the roadbed we followed and went down toward the Mill Creek creekbed at a point higher up than where we intersected the trail - that spur appeared to lie along the route indicated by the USFS route below this point, but above this point we could not find any indication of the USFS route and our old roadbed did not follow that route.

As as aside, if someone wants to go directly to the homestead or upper trail from the lower creekbed, without going all the way to the aforementioned campground and the nearby usetrail, there is a much shorter usetrail put in by Steve Chambers, which starts at a cairn 1.0 mile from the lower trailhead - however, it currently has much deadfall and we did not follow that route.

Our verdict is "clear" for the creekbed "Mill Creek Trail" proper, but "passable" for the extension from the creekbed to the homestead, and "passable to very difficult" for the extension above the homestead.

The path we followed can be viewed by looking at the "Mill Creek Trail" and "Mill Creek Extension" usetrail at ... ilmap.html

Should anyone with a GPS be interested in investigating this trail, I have placed a downloadable GPX file, giving the route along with some comments at specific waypoints, at ... nRoute.gpx
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Mill Creek

Postby TRAILS on Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:07 am

Date Hiked: June 13, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Reported by Brad:

The only indication of the trailhead was the small sign saying Mill Creek Trail. The first .5 miles of the trail is full of ticks. The rest of the trail was clear with no obstructions all the way to the camp.

The trail is beautiful and full of redwoods. Mill creek still has plenty of water this time of year and so does lion creek. There was only one water crossing but it wasnt difficult with plenty of stones to cross on.

The Mill Creek Camp was rundown with only a fire ring still in good condition. There didnt seem to be any good level place for a tent and the creek wasnt very close.

Past the camp is where the trail starts to become difficult with several spots that are washed out, several spots that are difficult to cross the creek and some deadfall crossing the trail.

Overall the trail was in good condition and very beautiful. A good alternative to the trails at Limekiln that were destroyed in the fire.
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