MacKerricher State Park


What? :

MacKerricher State Park covers 9 miles of coastline and contains several types of coastal habitats, including beaches, tide pools, bluff, headland, dune, forest, and wetland, and even small a freshwater lake.

The park stretch as a narrow strip along the coastline from Fort Bragg (Glass beach) all the way to Ten Mile River to the north, and it protect the shores and the large dunes area on its north side.




Where? :

MacKerricher State Park is located 3 miles north of Fort Bragg (Mendocino County) on highway 1, near the town of Cleone.

Google Map Link


When? :

The park is open for visitors year-round.

In summer it is popular location for camping in the Mendocino County. During winter some campgrounds are close.



Due note 1: By far the most popular attraction at MacKerricher State Park is Glass Beach that is right in Fort Bragg. I covered this area in a different blog


Due note 2: The park area start at its south section in Fort Bragg shoreline (glass beach), you can hike along the Old Haul Road multi-use trail all the way north into the main park section.


Due note 3: The park offer many campground sites (~140) and it is a great place to camp and enjoy the park and day-travel to many nearby attractions.


Due note 4: Restrooms with flush toilets, tap water can be found in few places in the park as well as in the campgrounds.


Due note 5: Few interesting historical facts:

The park is the only one that was at one time part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation.

Later this area was owned by the Union Lumber Company.

Eventually it was donated to the state by MacKerricher, therefore the Day use is free entrance (you do need to reserve and pay for campground).


Due note 6: If you are licensed or under 16, you can fish for bass in Lake Cleone.



Western Snowy Plovers:

There are only an estimated 2,100 adult breeding Western Snowy Plovers in the world and the winter flock of these birds in Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dunes Preserve has been 50 or more in the past few years. This make this park and the conservation of the dunes and native plants important in the preservation of this bird.



My thoughts:

I visit this park during a nice sunny winter morning, I did not have the time to explore the dunes at the park north section, so I only went to the boardwalk in Laguna Point.



The visit:



The park is covering almost 10 miles of beach coastline with diverse coastal habitats, but the park visitor center, campgrounds and main nature attractions are located 3.5 miles north of Fort Bragg.


From highway 1 drive into the park, pass the visitor center (near the park entrance) and the camping areas and drive pass the lake, cross under the old road/train bride and find a parking spot at the end of the road at Laguna Point.


From Laguna Point parking lot, you can go down to the main park sandy beach north of the parking lot or walk along the boardwalk heading west.


The boardwalk pass the tree section and get into the opening, here you have few viewings platform and rocky beach access with tidepools on low tide.

Walk all the way to the end of the boardwalk to the last viewing platform.

Enjoy the ocean view, and maybe spotting whales in the distance. The Gray whale’s migration is between December and April.

Once done here walk back on the boardwalk, you can return to the parking lot from the other trail.


In the middle of the park, you can find Lake Cleone, this was once a marsh area that was closed off by the construction of a road and became a 30-acre freshwater lake. There is a 1.3-mile-long trail that circling the lake and the marshes.


Near the lake, the campgrounds, and inland from the coastline you can see wooded areas of bishop pine and shore pine.


At the north 3.6 mile of the park coastline section, you can find Inglenook Fen Ten Mile Dunes Preserve, a sensitive dune complex with wetland and native vegetation.

You can get to this section of the park by following the trail north or to find the few entering points on highway 1 north of the park center.





Additional Pictures: