Letter: We shouldn't have to pay camping fee just to go hiking

June 07, 2007 12:00 am

I commend you on the wonderful article in May 23's paper about hiking in Del Norte ("Hiking Del Norte,"). Section B's front page gave numerous opportunity for us locals as well as tourists to hike in the Redwood State Park.

There is just one problem. Mill Creek campground no longer allows day use. If someone wants to go on any of the six or so hikes mentioned in the article, they will have to pay $20 to get a campsite.

I could not believe it when the park attendant told me that this year they were not allowing day use for lack of parking. It never stopped them before. For years I have been going to Mill Creek with my kids for a picnic out of the fog and away from highway noise. We have gone to the ranger programs that are published in the Triplicate. My kids have done the Jr. Ranger program. Now these programs and the hiking are closed to us because there is no day use.

I grumbled as over the years as fees went from $2 to $6, but I can understand inflation. What I don't understand is why Redwood parks had to take away from the local citizens of Crescent City, as well as tourists, the chance to spend an afternoon enjoying the beauty of our local park. I don't want to camp over night, and I don't want to park by the ranger station and hike a moderately strenuous extra 1.5 miles to go on an easy 0.5 mile hike.

I am thinking many other people don't want to spend $20.00 to take a stroll on trail. Even though there are many other places to hike in the area as the article mentioned, I want to be able to enjoy Mill Creek. So if anyone else would like to hike or picnic at Mill Creek, I urge you to write or talk to the superintendents of Redwood National and the State Parks and ask them to allow day use at Mill Creek once again. Their office is here in town at 1111 Second St.

Sandra Aierson

Crescent City