The Mill Creek Trail is a short, easy hike through groves of Coast redwoods along Mill Creek. The trailhead is a short distance up the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Highway 1. There is a small dirt parking lot a few yards beyond the signed trailhead on the opposite side of the road. The trail starts with a very steep, but brief, climb before dropping down again and entering the forest at an old cattle gate. The trail gradually climbs and descends, eventually dropping down to run along the bank of Mill Creek at the bottom of the canyon.
Staying on the north bank of Mill Creek, the trail eventually reaches a crossing of Lion Creek, which descends from the left. This may be a wet ford during high water. Beyond the crossing, the trail continues upstream to a crossing of Mill Creek itself near a series of small waterfalls. We turned around here, but it's possible to cross the creek and continue upstream to a small, unofficial campsite about 1/4 mile further upstream. The trail continues beyond here to eventually climb up the hillside to reach the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. However, this portion of the trail is not maintained and can be difficult to follow.
Wildflowers are abundant during the spring, and it's possible to see some interesting wildlife if you look close enough. My son found some giant centipedes and even a very small scorpion (!) here. While you're unlikely to see them, there is a lot of poison oak along the trail and ticks are common in the spring.
Overall, this is a remarkably beautiful trail that's frequently overlooked despite being so close to Highway 1. If you want to avoid the crowds at some of the other, more popular trails at places such as Limekiln State Park, this is the trail for you.
Tough trail.... not used much so the main trail can be difficult to follow in places. Requires paying attention to the map and sharpening your orienteering skills. The trail as marked on the current USGS topo or USF topo is not always accurate. However, this is whats its all about isnt it. this is one of those rare times/places where you find yourself dependent upon yourself and nature. I would give this 5 stars, but that may make the trail sound too easy, physically and mentally. Requires you to be on your game for both resources.
Boyfriend and I took our first backpacking trip here! Uphill trek but good little primitive campsite near a pretty little river (Spruce Creek). We had a blast. Very secluded even in the peak season! Went skinny dipping in the falls the next morning as well:)
I'm not sure why everyone is giving them undeserving reviews. This trail is wonderful! So many views and turns, it would be great for an adventurous intense uphill jog. Views are amazing (went off the trail and climbed around) and its beautiful throughout the whole time. This is good for a close-to-home hike. If you are coming from a ways out, then i'm not sure how you would rate it, but it still is a really great place.
It's a good workout, but not terribly interesting. Most of the views are obstructed by the forest, and there are parts of the trail that feel a little dangerous because they've been wiped out by rock slides, so be careful. If you're interested in the view, I would recommend just doing the first mile, because you'll see pretty much all you would see in that mile. Make sure to do the detour to the falls!