MacKerricher State Park

location

24100 MacKerricher Park Road
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

(707) 937-5804

 

Open

Call for hours.

 

Recreational Activities

By far the most popular attraction at MacKerricher State Park is Glass Beach. It is virtually covered in sea-smoothed glass fragments, resulting in a colorful and glittering shoreline.

Scheduled or guided activities—including hikes, Junior Rangers and campfire programs—are posted on bulletin boards throughout the park.

Seal Watching—Visitors can watch seals and their young but are asked to keep a distance of at least 50 yards. Many a seal mom has been scared off due to a well-intentioned human getting too close. Should a seal seem to be in peril, please call:

  • The MacKerricher Visitor Center
    (707) 964-8898
  • The Marine Mammal Center
    (415) 289-SEAL

Find out more about the importance of giving space to these fascinating creatures.

Whale Watching—During gray whale migration seasons, docent-led whale watch groups meet near the gray whale skeleton at the visitor center. Staffed by volunteers, the center features interpretive displays and publications. A private concession near the park offers horse rides in designated areas of the park.

Camping and Picnicking—More than 140 campsites accommodate tents and recreational vehicles. Family campsites have restrooms nearby, tables, food storage lockers and fire rings. Two group tent-only sites can accommodate up to 40 and 60 campers. To reserve between March and September call (800) 444-7275 or visit www.parks.ca.gov.

Ten walk-in campsites offer a pack-in experience without a long hike. Walk-in campers park in a designated area at the south edge of Surfwood Campground and carry supplies about 50 yards to campsites.

The Lake Cleone picnic area has tables, barbecues, running water and a great view of the 30-acre lake. A 1.3 mile trail circles the lake; licensed anglers may fish from shore or non-motorized boats for bass.

Visitor Center—A 30 foot long Gray Whale skeleton greets you as you enter MacKerricher state Park; it is hard to miss! The fully articulated skeleton is displayed right next to the MacKerricher Visitor Center. It is impressive to be able to walk right up to the huge rib cage and look inside what was once the belly of the whale! You can relax and view the skeleton from a nearby redwood bench/sculpture carved by a local chainsaw artist into the shape of a mother gray whale and her calf.

Find out more on our Visitor Center page.

Horseback Riding—Enjoy sunset rides on Ten Mile Beach courtesy of Ricochet Ranch. Eastern or Western horses available for all levels of experience. Join a group or schedule a private ride. Three hour, four hour, and all day rides also available. find out more at www.horse-vacation.com.

 

General Info

The park extends approximately nine miles along the coast. The shoreline of its southern portion consists of rocky headlands, separated by sandy beaches and coves, while miles of gently sloping beach make up the northern half. Watch harbor seals and migrating gray whales, stroll on secluded beaches, bicycle along an old seaside logging road, and find solitude on one of Northern California's most pristine stretches of sand dunes.

 

This park receives ongoing support from the Mendocino Area Parks Association.


Photos:
Glass beach distance shot: By Ellin Beltz (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Glass beach close up shot: By Jef Poskanzer (originally posted to Flickr as Glass Beach / wave) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons