Austin Creek State Recreation Area
Austin Creek State Recreation Area (AC SRA) boasts 5,700 acres of open woodlands, rolling hills, and meadows -- a strong contrast to the dense, primeval redwood forest below in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (AR SNR). Both parks are accessed through the same entrance. 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 offer glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. A paradise for the hikers and equestrians, 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' in elevation, offers a sense of isolation from the accustomed sights and sounds of civilization. This wilderness area is home to a rich diversity of native animals and plants. The springtime wildflower displays include Douglas iris, Indian paint brush, buttercups, lupines, brodiaes, California poppies and shooting stars. The grasslands, chaparral, conifer, oak woodland and riparian habitats of Austin Creek SRA are home to a wild range of native animals including squirrel, deer, raccoon, fox, coyote, skunk, bobcat and an occasional black bear or mountain lion. Introduced species that are commonly seen include feral pigs and wild turkeys. Bird life in the park includes the colorful wood duck and the rare spotted owl. Other more frequently seen birds include great blue herons, ravens, black-shouldered kites, California quail, various woodpeckers, hawks and flycatchers. Several aquatic species live in Bullfrog pond including sunfish, black bass and bull frogs. Trout, salmon, newts and salamanders are found in the many streams. Licensed anglers may fish Bullfrog Pond, but all streams are closed to fishing to protect important spawning habitat.