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Mendocino Botanical Gardens

The 47-acre Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, on a marine terrace two miles south of Fort Bragg, offers a pleasant opportunity to get acquainted with native plants of the region, as well as with some exotics. Paths take you through a coastal pine forest and groves of tree-sized rhododendrons, passing azaleas, heathers, fuchsias, heritage roses, and other plant collections,...
The 47-acre Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, on a marine terrace two miles south of Fort Bragg, offers a pleasant opportunity to get acquainted with native plants of the region, as well as with some exotics. Paths take you through a coastal pine forest and groves of tree-sized rhododendrons, passing azaleas, heathers, fuchsias, heritage roses, and other plant collections, then lead across grassland to a rocky headland. The marine terrace, above high rocky seabluffs, has been carved by Digger Creek. Steep terrain and the creek prevent wheelchair access along the North Trail, but there are plans to build a 175-foot wheelchair-accessible bridge that would make the trail more accessible to some wheelchair riders. Paths wind through a dense coastal pine forest and past 20 sizable plant collections, and eventually lead to the seabluffs. En route you can see tree-size rhododendrons, heathers, heritage roses, fuchsias, and many other shrubs, flowers, and grasses. More than 80 species of birds live in or visit the gardens, including acorn woodpeckers, Anna's hummingbirds, American goldfinches, red-throated loons, osprey, and hawks. You’ll likely see butterflies floating about the perennial and dahlia gardens. After a summer and fall of color, migrating gray whales add excitement starting in December.

There's always something in bloom, so check the garden's website for the bloom schedule and plan your visit accordingly. Start your day with a picnic on the plaza that overlooks the perennial gardens and end it with local, handmade ice cream from Cowlick’s at the Plaza Café (open 11 am-5 pm, May to Labor Day, and weekends in April and September). Be sure to leave time to linger in the retail nursery and garden gift shop. Several electric scooters are available for free at the entrance on a first-come, first-served basis. Benches are plentiful, and dogs are permitted on leash.
 

Trail/Pathway Details

South Trail

Trailhead: West of the nursery

Length: Less than .5 mile

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Some spur trails are less than 30 inches.

Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle

One steep section (greater than 1:12) is just beyond the bridge over Digger Creek.

Terrain: Hard

The two main trails, the North and South trails, are paved. Spur trail surfaces vary, and include gravel and firmly packed dirt. The loop trail on the bluff may be muddy in wet weather.

Description

In this adult fairyland, at any twist or turn you might be treated to a dazzling display of color or a symphony of birdsong, or halted in your tracks by delightful smells. A quick look at the garden map provided at the entrance may make you dizzy trying to plan your route, but fear not, the signage is...
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Accessibility Details

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

Spaces have no access aisle but are very wide. I had plenty of room to lower my ramp.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

The most accessible restroom is at the start of the Coastal Bluff Trail, but the doors are heavy. The single-user restroom by the parking lot has a 30” door clearance, limited turning space, a pedestal sink, and only one grab bar. 
Dahlia garden
Dahlia garden (Courtesy of Mendocino Botanical Gardens)

Features icon key

  • hiking
  • picnic

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.gardenbythesea.org
Managing Agency: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Address: 18222 North Highway One, Fort Bragg
Nearest City: Fort Bragg
Phone: (707) 964-4352
Hours: March-Oct.: 9 am-5 pm. Nov.-Feb.: 9 am-4 pm. Open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Saturday after Labor Day.
Fees: Entrance
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Mendocino Transit Authority 
Reviewed by Scott Rains, August 24, 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
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