Jug Handle State Reserve

Exploring the Unique Ecology of the Mendocino Coast

Jug Handle State Reserve is a 769 acre park that preserves the unique ecology of the Northern California coast. The Reserve features a self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase. This 2.5 mile trail (5 miles round trip) explores 3 of the 5 terraces formed by a variety of geological and ecological forces. The trail takes you through prairie, pine forest, and a pygmy forest where full-grown trees are only knee-high.

You can pick up a brochure at the parking area west of Highway 1, and then start the trail on the bluffs overlooking Jug Handle Bay. Another trail branches off to a sandy beach adjacent to Jug Handle Creek, while the nature trail continues east through the 3 terraces that make up the Reserve.

Facilities include parking, a picnic area and a chemical toilet.

Adjoining the Reserve, the privately owned Jug Handle Farm and Nature Center offers educational programs, lodge-style overnight facilities, and a campground.

Jug Handle Reserve is located 1 mile north of Caspar, between Fort Bragg and Mendocino in Northern California.

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