Willow Creek Panorama

Owned by California State Parks, Stewarded & Managed by LandPaths from 2005-2015

Access:   LandPaths has completed our Permit Program after 10 years serving our community.  Current Permit holders will continue to have access until the property opens to the public through State Parks.  There will be no more permit orientations at this time.  Please see below for more detail. If you have any questions or comments regarding the park opening please send them to Mike Lair with California State Parks ([email protected]). 


Dear Friends of Willow Creek,

LandPaths appreciates you, the permit holding public and our partners at Willow Creek.  

Folks like you have been here from the start—when Jonathan Glass from LandPaths traveled to Sacramento in April of 2005 to make a promise to the State of California.  With you, we have fulfilled our promise.  We have kept Willow Creek open to the public well beyond the planned three years, and through state budget deficits and park closures.  And we did this with and for the community without mandating a fee to explore the land.  

One of the most rewarding aspects of tending Willow Creek has been the community of remarkable volunteers who have stepped up to make this People Powered Park a reality.  

While there have been hiccups, none have been significant as the accomplishments.  Some of the most remarkable observations—the lack of trash, and the number of calls we get not just to tell us a tree is down, but to tell us the tree has been removed.  You all volunteered time to learn about Willow Creek and act as a steward with each and every visit.  Some of you powered the Road and Trails Crew to inventory the property, built an information kiosk, installed and maintained trail signage, led Orientations and Outings, and even came to meetings. 

Our belief in you and People Powered Parks is stronger today a result of our collective work.

We remain ever committed to the community and hope you will take an interest in LandPaths Outings and invest your time and energy in other LandPaths-owned People Powered Parks in the area:  Bohemia Ecological Preserve and the Grove of the Old Trees.  The land can always benefit from a good friend and steward.

Your Willow Creek permits will be active until the Park opens under new system.

Willow Creek will still need stewards, and the volunteer efforts will continue in the hands of our partners, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, the non-profit supporting California State Parks in the Russian River District. We are beginning that transition now, and will complete it by the end of the year.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the changes to come please send them to Mike Lair with California State Parks ([email protected]). 

To many more adventures on the land together!

Your Friends at LandPaths

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In May 2005, Willow Creek was acquired as an addition to Sonoma Coast State Park. This spectacular 3,373-acre "community-powered" State Park near Duncans Mills covers much of the Willow Creek and Freezeout Creek watersheds. Its rolling grasslands, forested ravines, and fish-bearing streams are home to an abundance of plants and wildlife. Hikers, bikers and equestrians will enjoy the 15 mile network of old logging and ranch roads, accessible through a free permit-for-use program (see below for details). These roads & trails connect with adjacent State Park lands, allowing users to hike or ride the 7+ miles from Duncans Mills to Shell Beach - all on State Park land.


Willow Creek State Park is scheduled to open in 2016.  LandPaths has completed our Permit Program after 10 years serving our community.  Current Permit holders will continue to have access until the property opens to the public.  Future Access will be through California State Parks once the property opens to the public.


LandPaths has been working with volunteers to provide ‘community power' to the Willow Creek property since 2001. Volunteers serve as ‘eyes and ears' as part of the Willow CreekTrail Watch program, and help with trail maintenance through the Stewardship Crew. LandPaths has been proud to work with such a dedicated crew of community members for the last 14 years.  With the proposed opening of the park this spring, LandPaths has passed coordiantion of volunteer stewardship to our partners at Stewards of the Coast & Redwoods.  If you would like to join a stewardship day or report a trail issue please contact Bill Bambrick at Stewards ([email protected] ).


Permitted access to the property is currently via the Freezeout Flat park entrance near Duncans Mills. This parking area is behind a locked gate.

Directions: Take 116 west to Duncans Mills, turn LEFT on Moscow Rd go through town and across the bridge, immediately as you exit the bridge look for Freezeout road on your Right hand side. Turn RIGHT (south) on Freezeout Road (immediately after the bridge) and look for the 2nd gate on your left; proceed through gate to parking. NOTE: Gate is locked except during scheduled outings and events.  Permit holders are issued a combination to this gate.

California Gold Hike - 1.22.05 039  Willow Creek Fog River


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