Patrick's Creek Interpretive Trail is a short and beautiful paved stroll along the Smith River.
The trail is roughly 0.25 miles long, but it packs in views of Patrick's Creek, the Smith River (and the confluence), along with historic stone steps and foundations built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. As is the case in the campground and swimming area, you will be shaded by Douglas firs, Pacific madrone, and oak trees. Do be careful when veering off trail, as poison oak is frequent in the area.
Start by parking at the Patrick's Creek Lodge, originally built in 1926. A paved path runs parallel to Patrick's Creek under the highway bridge. The beginning of the trail offers a view of the confluence that is accessible by wheelchair. This is a great spot to wade and fish. Continuing on the path will lead you to encounter what is left of the handiwork of the CCC. The moss-covered stone structures are a great little detour, and some provide benches or fire pits. You will need to remove yourself from the pavement in order to fully experience the structures, but one can gain a decent view and idea from the pathway itself. If you continue wandering off the path you will eventually hit the Smith River. By staying on the path you will shortly reach the junction that leads either to Patrick's Creek Day Use Area or to the Patrick's Creek Campground. The paved path is lit up until midnight during the summer, making for a great stroll before bed, or a safe walk back from the lodge.