Mendocino Outdoors, now an ebook in its fifth edition, is your guide to outdoor activities on the Mendocino Coast. This remote section of Northern California spans 100 miles of Pacific coastline, with spectacular ocean vistas, scenic drives, old-growth redwood trees, and several navigable rivers suitable for kayaking and canoeing. With hundreds of miles of trails and logging roads in the redwood forests, there are excellent opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.
Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the redwood-lined coastal mountain range, the Mendocino Coast is an outdoor paradise with great natural beauty, interesting wildlife, and a cool climate, so it offers a wealth of outdoor possibilities for everyone. Every winter, 20,000 California Gray Whales migrate south along the coast to their birthing grounds, returning in the spring with new calves. You can take a whalewatching excursion from Noyo Harbor, as well as see them from the shore along the entire coast. Birdwatchers will delight at herons, cormorants, Arctic tundra swans, spotted owls, osprey, geese, hawks, and more.
The Mendocino Coast has a rich and colorful history. The giant redwood trees that cover the Mendocino Coast were discovered while searching for the wreck of the Frolic, a clipper ship returning from China. The rush to harvest the trees resulted in mills and towns springing up all along the Mendocino Coast. You can still find traces of the logging activities along the coast and in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest, the largest state forest in California. The village of Mendocino is a National Historic Preservation District, and the historic buildings walking tour in the book takes you by the Kelley House Museum and the Ford House Visitor Center, both of which are excellent sources for the history of the coast and early logging activities.
The book covers all of the parks and preserves along the coast, from the fabled Lost Coast down to Gualala. It also features several inland jaunts to the Anderson Valley wine country and some of the tallest trees in the world. The guide is filled with full-color maps of all the areas described in the book, accompanied by descriptions, driving directions, and photographs to show you why you might want to visit the various locations.
Chapter One • North Coast: Lost Coast to Fort Bragg
This chapter covers the Lost Coast, Usal Beach and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park; Smithe Redwoods State Reserve; Standish-Hickey SRA; Admiral William Standley SRA; Westport-Union Landing State Beach; Bruhel Point; MacKerricher State Park and Glass Beach; Fort Bragg and Noyo Headlands Park; Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens; Jug Handle State Reserve; and the Chamberlain Creek Waterfall (Jackson Demonstration State Forest).
Chapter Two • Central Coast: Caspar to Albion
This chapter covers Caspar Headlands State Reserve & Beach; Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historical Park; Russian Gulch State Park; Mendocino National Historic Preservation District; Mendocino Headlands and Chapman Point; Big River Estuary and the Forest History Trail (Jackson Demonstration State Forest); Van Damme State Park and its Pygmy Forest Boardwalk; Montgomery Woods State Reserve (third-tallest tree in the world).
Chapter Three • South Coast: Elk to Gualala & Anderson Valley
This chapter covers Navarro Point Preserve and Navarro River Redwoods State Park & Beach; Elk and Greenwood State Beach; Manchester State Park, Point Arena Lighthouse, and Stornetta Public Lands; Bowling Ball and Schooner Gulch State Beaches; and Anderson Valley Wineries and Hendy Woods State Park.
Rounding out the book are two appendices:
• Practical Information for Visitors, including locations of banks, grocery stores, medical services, pharmacies, mechanics, towing services, and more.
• Pet-Friendly Activities and Services highlights many activities, services, and lodging establishments that welcome pets.