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MacKerricher State Park

Sprawling MacKerricher State Park, one of the more accessible parks in Mendocino County, has more than 2,000 acres of dunes, coastal prairie, headlands, a tidal lagoon, pocket beaches, and trails. At its southern end, in Fort Bragg, a wide coastal prairie terminates at the ocean in low, rocky bluffs. The main entrance, in the little town of Cleone,...
Sprawling MacKerricher State Park, one of the more accessible parks in Mendocino County, has more than 2,000 acres of dunes, coastal prairie, headlands, a tidal lagoon, pocket beaches, and trails. At its southern end, in Fort Bragg, a wide coastal prairie terminates at the ocean in low, rocky bluffs. The main entrance, in the little town of Cleone, provides access to park amenities, including campgrounds, picnic tables, restrooms, a small beach that is accessible by beach wheelchair (when the shifting dunes aren't too steep), and Lake Cleone, a 30-acre former brackish-water marsh, now a freshwater lake due to construction of Haul Road, which cut it off from the sea. Farther north, Ten Mile Beach and the adjacent dunes form one of the longest stretches (some 4.5 miles) of dunes in California, but there's no wheelchair access.

Two trails are accessible: The Haul Road extends 10 miles (only 2.5 miles are accessible) along an abandoned train route, and Laguna Point, a blufftop boardwalk, offers close-up views of the ocean. The 1.3-mile trail that rings Lake Cleone is closed indefinitely due to vandalism. It's still worthwhile to stop there and sit by the parking lot overlooking the lake to watch for blue herons, osprey, and ring-necked and mallard ducks.

Trail/Pathway Details

The Haul Road

Trailhead: Foot of Old Haul Road in Fort Bragg. You can also access the trail from the parking lot by the Beachcomber Motel and off Mill Creek Road (the park's entry road), immediately past the overpass.

Length: 2-4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Gentle

The spur trail has a short section greater than 1:12

Terrain: Hard

Trail is worn in places. Spur trail is dirt and gravel, and on my visit there was a thick layer of gravel at the bottom of the short hill.

Description

The Haul Road is a 10-mile multiuse trail for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians that runs from Fort Bragg north to Ten Mile River along a former train corridor that carried timber from the Ten Mile River watershed to the Union Lumber Company in Fort Bragg. Only the first two miles from the trail's southern terminus in Fort...
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Laguna Point Boardwalk

Trailhead: Laguna Point day-use lot

Length: Under one mile total

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

Very bumpy in places

Description

Located on a headland at the park's westernmost point, Laguna Point Boardwalk is a loop trail on an elevated boardwalk that leads around the point through fields of grass, past a series of interpretive panels. In the late 19th century, the point had a bustling wharf and loading chute that carried lumber milled in the area to ships...
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Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

A very small visitor center by the entry kiosk has a gift shop, animal pelts and specimens, and information about the natural history of the park. Adjacent to the center, a humpback whale skeleton provides visitors a sense of the scale of this large mammal.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

One-day advance notice is requested: (707) 961-0404 Adjacent to the visitor center, at Cleone Lake, Laguna Point day-use lot, and the small lot at the foot of Old Haul Road in Fort Bragg. A large public lot near the Beachcomber Motel on Highway One provides access to the Haul Road trail. It has a firm surface but no designated accessible spaces.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

At Lake Cleone parking lot; a portable unit is in the lot off Highway One by the Beachcomber Motel.
The only accessible day-use picnic table is next to the visitor center. Its location at the park's entrance kiosk may not be desirable. Tables at Lake Cleone are on sand.
Observation platform, Laguna Point boardwalk
Observation platform, Laguna Point boardwalk (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

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Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • camping
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • swimming
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.parks.ca.gov
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Address: 24100 MacKerricher Park Rd.
Nearest City: Fort Bragg
Phone: (707) 964-9112
Hours: Sunrise to 10 pm. Haul Road trail: 6 am-10 pm. Visitor center: Generally Fri.-Sun., noon-4 pm (call first).
Fees: Camping
Dogs: On leash
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, September 17, 2010
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
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