To get there from Highway 1 take Higgins Canyon Road east for 1.6 miles to a small parking lot and park sign on the left side of the road. There is room for about 14 cars.
This is not a park for people looking for a serious hike. The distance from the parking lot to the historic barn is about a mile on a gently sloping gravel ranch road. A foot path continues on for about another mile before petering out. Dogs are allowed on leash to the barn. Vegetation includes willow, blackberries, maple, poison oak, eucalyptus, red elderberry, twin berry, and cream bush. There are a couple of outhouses along the way. No water is available.
The most prominent feature of this park is a large barn built into a hillside in 1889. The land was acquired by English native Robert Mills, who built the barn in the “bank barn” style of the English Lake Country. Because it was built into the hillside, farmers could drive loads of hay to the second floor on the uphill side of the structure. Hay bales could then be dropped to the first floor where the dairy cows were fed. An Italian stone mason built the barn foundation as well as a nearby bridge over Mills Creek. The park is named after dairy farmer Burleigh Hall Murray (1892-1978). His heirs donated the land to the state after his death.
The walk is mostly on a gently graded ranch road. There is limited parking at the trailhead. Hope you enjoy your hike in one of our beloved parks.
Article written by Tom Taber, CSPA Board Secretary