by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

MacKerricher

Park Brochure

brochure MacKerricher - Park Brochure
Our Mission MacKerricher State Park The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Wild harbor seals sun offshore while scores of shorebirds forage in mounds of beached kelp at these pristine beaches and California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 937-5804. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov MacKerricher State Park 24100 MacKerricher Park Road (off Hwy. 1) Fort Bragg, CA 95437 (707) 937-5804 © 2002 California State Parks (Rev. 2017) secluded coves. M acKerricher State Park’s wild beauty, diverse habitats, and moderate climate make this special place on the Mendocino Coast a gem among California’s state parks. Watch harbor seals and migrating gray whales, stroll on secluded beaches, bicycle along an old seaside logging road, and find solitude on one of Northern California’s most pristine stretches of sand dunes. PARK HISTORY For thousands of years, the Northern Pomo and the Coast Yuki thrived on the natural riches of this area. The resources were so plentiful that other local native groups were routinely permitted to travel through Pomo and Yuki lands to fish and to collect seaweed, shellfish, acorns, and other foods. Today Native American descendants still gather foods and other resources in the practice of their tribal traditions. Duncan MacKerricher and his wife moved to this area from Canada in 1864. A few years PLANT COMMUNITIES The lake area and campgrounds host a forest of Bishop and shore pine, Douglas-fir, and other types of vegetation that thrive in the favorable soil and climate. Dunes topped with sand verbena, sea rocket, sand primrose, beach morning-glory, and grasses produce a palette of yellows, reds, and greens rolling gently across Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dunes Natural Preserve the sand hills. Alongside an isolated stretch of beach, the Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dunes Natural Preserve — an unusual sand dune complex— contains several terrestrial, wetland, and freshwater ecosystems. At their widest point, the dunes extend three-quarters of a mile from the beach to Highway 1. Walk on the beach, rather than the dunes and plants, to avoid harming a number of sensitive, threatened, or endangered dune species. The headlands leading to Laguna Point are blanketed with a thick mat of non-native grasses, a result of past livestock grazing. Remnants of native plant communities, including sensitive species such as Mendocino Coast Indian paintbrush, Howell’s spineflower, Menzies’ wallflower, and other native wildflowers can be found along the headlands that extend to Pudding Creek, site of a Bishop pine popular beach and the Pudding Creek Trestle. Pudding Creek Trestle later, he bought 1,000 acres and named the land Rancho de la Laguna. He raised cattle, hogs, and draft horses. After a wharf was built at Laguna Point, MacKerricher allowed a gravity-fed railway to be built on his land from Cleone to Laguna Point. MacKerricher’s holdings became the core of the park when his heirs sold the property to the State in 1949. MAJOR FEATURES The park extends approximately nine miles along the coast. The shoreline of its southern portion consists of rocky headlands, separated by sandy beaches and coves, while miles of gently sloping beach make up the northern half. Three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1, the entrance road leading to the Laguna Point boardwalk passes three campgrounds and Lake Cleone. The picturesque overpass near Lake On the beaches, you may see shorebirds foraging amid kelp on shore. The ocean, offshore rocks, headlands, shoreline, lake, wetlands, woods, and sand dunes attract more than 280 bird species. The Western snowy plover, a threatened species, inhabits sandy beaches year-round. Harbor seals sun themselves on the Lake Cleone rocks near Laguna Point. From midCleone once carried steam-driven trains December to early April, crowds are drawn to the former Union Lumber Company to the overlooks as gray whales migrate mill in Fort Bragg. Today, walkers, joggers, between the Bering Sea and Baja California. equestrians, and bicyclists use the haul Black-tailed deer are often seen near the road, as it is historically called. This road lake, as are raccoons and gray foxes. Great once extended from Fort Bragg to the Ten blue herons, mallard ducks, and doubleMile River watershed. Thirty-acre Lake crested cormorants are found year-round Cleone, formerly a brackish water marsh, at the lake, which also serves as a resting received high-tide doses of salt water. place for migratory waterfowl. Though rare, When the haul road was built, it blocked mountain lions have also been sighted in off incoming seawater and created the the area. present freshwater lake. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES In 2014, 2.7 miles of the old Haul Road Scheduled or guided activities — including and invasive beachgrass were removed. hikes, Junior Rangers, and campfire WILDLIFE programs — are posted on bulletin boards Rocky shorelines are home to tide pool throughout the park. During gray whale organisms that have adapted to their specific intertidal homes. They can die if moved or overturned, so please don’t endanger these protected resources. Kelp forests line the water along the north side of the point. Snowy plover migration seasons, docent-led whale watch groups meet near the gray whale skeleton at the visitor center. Staffed by volunteers, the center features interpretive displays and publications. A private concession near the park offers horse rides in designated areas of the park. CAMPING AND PICNICKING More than 140 campsites accommodate tents and recreational vehicles. Family campsites have restrooms nearby, tables, food storage lockers, and fire rings. Two group tent-only sites can accommodate up to 40 and 60 campers. To reserve between March and September, call (800) 444-7275 or visit www.parks.ca.gov. Ten walk-in campsites offer a pack-in experience without a long hike. Walk-in campers park in a designated area at the south edge of Surfwood Campground and carry supplies about 50 yards to campsites. The Lake Cleone picnic area has tables, barbecues, running water, and a great view of the 30-acre lake. A 1.3-mile trail circles the lake; licensed anglers may fish from shore or non-motorized boats for bass. NEARBY STATE PARKS All parks listed are along Highway 1. • Westport-Union Landing State Beach 2 miles north of Westport 95488 (707) 937-5804 • Russian Gulch State Park 2 miles north of Mendocino 95460 (707) 937-5804 • Point Cabrillo Light Station SHP 13800 Point Cabrillo Dr. off Hwy. 1 Mendocino 95460 (707) 937-5804 ACCESSIBLE FEATURES The visitor center, boardwalk at Laguna Point, the Haul Road, some picnic tables, all restrooms, and several paved campsites are accessible. A beach wheelchair is available for loan at the kiosk. Call (707) 937-5804 for details. Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, visit http://access.parks.ca.gov. PLEASE REMEMBER • The ocean can be very dangerous. Never turn your back on the ocean. • All park natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be removed or disturbed, including glass found at Glass Beach. • Keep dogs under control and on a leash no longer than six feet. Dogs must be enclosed in a tent or vehicle at night. • Bicyclists under age 18 must wear helmets. Do not ride bikes or horses on the boardwalks. Horses are allowed only on designated trails, and riders must ride on wet sand on beach trails. • Keep campfires in the rings provided. Purchase firewood at the park entrance and at camp host sites. Do not collect dead or down wood; it provides important soil nutrients. This park is supported in part through a nonprofit organization. For more information contact: Mendocino Area Parks Association, P.O. Box 1387, Mendocino, CA 95460 • (707) 937-4700 http://mendoparks.org Tide pools to 101 TU k ee Cr 0 g 40 0 Boonville 30 Km 0.5 0.5 0 1 Mile 1.0 1.5 Kilometers 0 0 60 Creek 0 20 20 Main St 20 0 10 20 Mi 60 10 0 in Haul Rd Mendocino Willits 20 200 Rd ul Ha Haul Rd ific O ce a n P ac MacKerricher SP 1 0 FORT BRAGG 400 Van Damme Calpella SP Hendy Ukiah 128 Woods SP Elk 101 k to Mendocino 1 0 60 ee dd © 2002 California State Parks (Rev. 2017) Glass Beach Cr 200 101 Russian Gulch SP Point Cabrillo Pu Viewpoint 600 RV Sanitation Station Pudding Creek Trestle Mill 0 in Restrooms Dr Fort Bragg Airport Rd Ranger Station k Westport 1 g Vir Picnic Area re e 20 Campground: Group Parking C see detail map above Campground No Dogs Allowed Cleone il l 0 Lake Cleone 400 60 M 0 20 400 P Laguna Point Ward Ave S TAT E PA R K Seal Watching Station Campfire Center Marsh E tal T rail Coas State Park Boat Launch: Hand P OO MACKERRICHER Accessible Feature Fishing NA FE Trai l stal EN Coa IN MacKerricher Marine Conservation Area Boating 1 GL Paved Road Trail: Hike & Horse Sandhill Lake 200 Legend Trail: Hiking S 1 1-10 Trail: Accessible Multi-Use RA L P RES lk LE wa gle n Cr ook ee k MI B Walk in only rd oa 0 20 In EN Camp Host Inglenook NE Lake Cleone N- T no motor boats Visitor Center cO ce an Park Entrance DU P K Ha 108143 1-20 ci f i Surfwood Mill Creek Rd 1 E RV Ha P P ul to Seal Watching Station, Laguna Point Cleone Pa walk 21-59 Camp Host Main Beach Rd Board c cean r Pa O i f ic ve 60-107 ul 300 Meters Ri 200 ile 100 1 East Pine M 0 West Pine 1000 Feet Rd 500 n Te 0

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