MacKerricher State Park is wild, beautiful and varied. This 2,299 acre Mendocino beach park includes 454 acres of offshore underwater park, rugged headlands, and rocky shoreline with tide pools. Miles of gently sloping beach offer plenty of opportunity for strolling and communing with nature. Take the time to explore the park's sandy coves, two freshwater lakes, pristine sand dunes, coniferous forest, and abundant wildlife.
Activities include, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking, camping, fishing, and diving for abalone. There's an entrance/parking fee, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, hiking trails, a visitor center with exhibits, a wheelchair-accessible nature trail and a boardwalk at Lake Cleone.
MacKerricher State Park Photo © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons
Pudding Creek Beach is a popular sandy Mendocino beach located in the southern section of the park. To the north, the more isolated Ten Mile Beach borders the Inglenook Fen Ten Mile Dunes Preserve, where you can explore the sand dunes and wetlands. Take the Coastal Trail (also known as the Haul Road) to access the beach and dunes.
Glass Beach, which is famous for its sea glass, is now a part of the park, though it's accessed separately, from Elm Street in Fort Bragg.
MacKerricher State Park is a good place for wildlife viewing. Over 90 species of birds have been sighted here, including osprey and great blue herons. Black-tailed deer, rabbits, gray foxes and other mammals frequent the lake area. The rocky shoreline is also home to a variety of tide-pool critters. Harbor seals enjoy sunning themselves on the rocks and are always a hit with visitors.
During winter and spring, watch the migrating whales from the park's headland. Take the path to the Seal Watching Station at the tip of Laguna Point for a particularly good viewpoint.
Ten Mile Haul Road Photo © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons
There's plenty to do here. Go horseback riding on the 6 mile long equestrian trail along the beaches and dunes. A private concession near the park offers guided trail rides at the park. Hiking and bicycling are also popular.
Fishing is available at the two trout-stocked freshwater lakes, Lake Cleone and Sand Hill Lake. There's a boat ramp for non-motorized boats at Lake Cleone.
The park also offers guided activities and campfire programs.
The park has 4 campgrounds with 148 campsites for tents and RVs up to 35 feet. The campgrounds have restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Campsites have firepits, picnic tables, and food storage lockers.
There are also 10 walk-in campsites, but the walk is only about 50 yards.
Camping reservations are recommended, especially during the summer months.
MacKerricher State Park is located 3 miles north of Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast in Northern California. It's accessible from Highway 1.
For official information from California State Parks see MacKerricher State Park. While you're there, download a park brochure, which contains a detailed map. The video will help give you a feel for the place.