Mendocino Headlands State Park with its unique blend of gentle trails, rugged coastline, secluded beaches and timeless history surrounds the picturesque Village of Mendocino on three sides. Miles of trails wind along the cliffs, giving the casual explorer spectacular views of sea arches and hidden grottoes.
The Historic Ford House is a museum located on Main Street in Mendocino and is the Visitor Center for the Mendocino Headlands State Park. The Ford House provides current and historic information about to Mendocino visitors. It has a scale model exhibit of the Mendocino in 1890, built by local craftsman Len Peterson and the Museum offers a number of videos for viewing with topics ranging from the great migration of the gray whales to the steam whistle logging era of the early Twentieth Century.
On the south side of Mendocino, accessible by vehicle from Highway 1, or by trails down the bluffs, is Big River Beach. This beach is used by picnickers, sun bathers and players in the surf. Mendocino Headlands State Park began operation in 1974. In 2002 the Big River wetlands was added to the park creating a 7,400-acre wildlife corridor which links diverse coastal and inland habitats into the largest piece of connected public land entirely within Mendocino County. Reaching from the Big River’s mouth to 800-foot elevation inland ridges, the Big River wetlands includes a wide range of habitats. On the north it adjoins Jackson Demonstration State Forest and Mendocino Woodlands State Park. Public lands reach to the sea from Jackson Demonstration State Forest at Jug Handle State Reserve, Russian Gulch State Park and the Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. To the south, separated by a narrow strip of private land and Comptche Ukiah Road, lies Van Damme State Park with an RV campground and ocean access.
In any season, a visit to the Mendocino Headlands will provide a memorable experience. You might come to see the spring wildflowers, enjoy a crisp and clear fall day, escape to a cool summer climate or witness the winter migration of grey whale. The park provides Mendocino with a buffer area that preserves the town’s historical presence. In return, the town provides a view of a unique blend of natural, ecological, cultural and social diversity. Activities range from hiking and surfing to fishing. Photographers and painters frequently visit various parts of Mendocino Headlands enjoying and capturing the scenic wonders. There are no camping facilities; visitors are day users only.
Hike and bicycle the 8.3 mile Haul Road Trail along Big River, through the redwood forest.
Year-round. Layered clothing is recommended, as weather is variable.
Fees: Free day use. Camping not allowed.
For More Information, Contact:
Mendocino Headlands SP