Samuel P. Taylor State Park
The park is 15 miles west of San Rafael on Sir Frances Drake Boulevard. The park offers a network of hiking trails all the way to the top of Mount Barnabe or the lovely Azalea Picnic Area. Paved bike trails run for about three miles through the park.
Like many others, Samuel P. Taylor came to California from Boston in 1849 to try his luck in the gold rush. He was lucky enough to actually find some gold and used his earnings to start a lumber business. He purchased 100 acres along the creek were he built a paper mill. Utilizing scrap paper and rags from San Francisco the mill produced newsprint and square bottomed paper bags.
Adding to the area he built a resort hotel and Camp Taylor, one of the first in the country to offer camping as a recreational activity.
Steelhead trout and silver salmon migrate up what is now Papermill Creek to spawn and is one of the areas where redds are counted each year to determine the health of the Pacific salmon.