Moorman Pond Trail, also called the Moorman Grove Trail, is a moderate, 0.5 mile, out and back trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park that totals 1.0 mile round-trip.
The trailhead is located directly off the main park road about 1.0 mile beyond the trailhead for the Little Creek Trail and is marked with a wooden sign that reads Moorman Grove.
Moorman Pond Trail starts off flat but soon begins to climb into the canyon and travel through dense redwood forest blanketed in lush ferns. If you’re quiet, you can hear the babbling creek at the bottom of the canyon as you hike to the Charles H. and Lily B. Moorman Memorial Grove that was established in 1965. Charles H. Moorman was a Sixth Circuit judge from Kentucky.
It’s nice, wide, well-maintained trail but one minute you’re walking along admiring the Coast Redwoods, Sitka Spruce, and Douglas Fir and the next you’re stopped dead in your tracks because the trail just disappears. There is no end point, or viewing area. It just stops where a log crosses the trail as if it used to be longer, but no one wanted to move the fallen tree. A single memorial bench sits off to the side of trail, providing a scenic spot to relax and enjoy the forest views.
Know Before You Go
- The trailhead for the Moorman Pond Trail is directly off Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, the main road that travels through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It is marked with a big sign that reads “Moorman Grove.”
- Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is located off Highway 101 at 127011 Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, Orick, California 95555, 50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City in Humboldt County.
- The 14,000 acre California state park protects sandy beaches, open meadows grazed by a herd of Roosevelt elk, a canyon dripping in lush ferns, 75 miles of trails, and stands of the world’s tallest living trees, the coast redwood. It was used as a filming location for Jurassic Park.
- Download the Prairie Creek State Park Map.
- There are two campgrounds at Prairie Creek Redwoods that take reservations year-round: Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and Elk Prairie Campground. The latter has accessible cabins for rent with heaters and lights but no kitchen or bathroom. Each cabin has two single over double bunk beds and you must bring your own bedding. No pets and no smoking in the cabins.
- Dogs must be on a leash no more than six feet long and must be confined to a tent or vehicle at night. Except for service animals, pets are not allowed on trails.
- Two sections of the 1,200 mile California Coastal Trail run through Prairie Creek Redwoods: a 6.0 mile section from Carruthers Cove Trailhead to Gold Bluffs Beach and an 11.0 mile section from Gold Bluffs Beach to Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick.
- Big Tree Trail, Prairie Creek Trail, Revelation Trail, and Elk Prairie Trail are the accessible trails within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks joined with Redwood National Park to form Redwood National and State Parks in 1994. Today, the four parks’ combined 133,000 acres contain 45 percent of California’s old growth redwood forest. They have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and form a portion of the protected California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve. They are the only parks in the California State Parks system that accept the Federal Access Pass discount.