Funds from purchases made at the following visitor centers go directly to supporting their parks.
45035 Main Street, Mendocino
11am – 4pm, Daily
The Ford House Museum and Visitor Center is located in the Mendocino Headlands State Park that surrounds on three sides the picturesque town of Mendocino, listed on the National Historic Register. The park sits on the rugged Mendocino County shoreline where the Big River empties into the Pacific. Miles of trails wind along the cliffs, giving the casual explorer spectacular views of sea arches and hidden grottoes. Secluded beaches Day-use only. No camping.
The Ford House Museum and Visitor Center is both a historical Museum Circa 1854 as well as the official visitor center for the village of Mendocino. There is no entry fee to go through the museum, but rather a suggested donation of $2 per person. As the visitor center we offer maps, pamphlets, brochures, magazines and a very knowledgeable and friendly volunteer to answer any question you may have. The hours of operation are January through May 11am – 4pm, June through August 10:30am – 4:30pm, September through December 11am – 4pm. Proudly we are open 365 days a year.
The Museum has both permanent and rotating displays.
Our permanent displays are a 4 X 8 foot diorama depicting what Mendocino looked like in 1890. Another 4 X 5 foot center display with artifacts and tools that were used by the loggers in the 1800’s. Several works of art by Emmy Lou Packard showing her unique talents in the use of block printing. two displays of china dishware used by Martha Ford 1854-1872.
Some of our rotating displays include grey whale bones that are displayed during the annual grey whale migration. Live wildflower displays during the spring along with wildflower works of art by some of our local artist. And similarly a live mushroom display during the fall along with mushroom photos taken by local artist.
For information, or if you are interested in being involved in the Ford House Docent Council, please contact Ford House Manager Jim Owens at 707-937-5397 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail: P.O. Box 1387, Mendocino, CA 95460
5980 Highway 1, Elk
Open March through November
Greenwood State Beach offers beach access and a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean. The visitor center is in the middle of town and provides a glimpse of what life was like in this lumber town during the late 1800s.
The central theme of the visitor center is of Greenwood as a lumber town in the late 1800's through the early 1900's. You will find artifacts which were used in the lumber camps to harvest the redwoods and bark from the tan oak trees. The gallery room and main museum room are filled with photographs of early settlers of the town of Greenwood and nearby Cuffey's Cove and of the lumbering operations as well as photographs of the town during that era. There is an additional room filled with period furniture including an organ, stove, washing machine, steamer trunk, and bath tub.
Entering the visitor center you will see a mural depicting the Greenwood wharf which was built by the L.E. White Lumber Company. This wharf had an unique design as it was built on a series of outcropping rocks into the ocean. The schooners would tie to the wharf while loading redwood lumber, tan bark, railroad ties and passengers all destined for San Francisco. The ultimate destination of the railroad ties was China. The mural was painted by the well known muralist Michael Cole.
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended. Call 707-937-5804 for Elk Visitor Center seasonal hours.
24100 Mackerricher Park Rd, Fort Bragg
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.
Inside, the visitor center is packed with exhibits featuring the natural and cultural history of the park. Lifelike models of the creatures that live in the park may appear to be keeping an eye on you. There are also pelts from various mammals, both marine and terrestrial, that you are encouraged to touch, and other natural objects to view.
A gift shop offers park T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, games, toys and more! Your purchases help fund the Mendocino Area Parks Association’s educational programs and projects. The knowledgeable volunteer docent can help guide your visit, whether you wish to walk to the seal viewing platform on Laguna Point, take a long walk on the beach, ride your bike along the park’s old logging road, or plan a dinner out in nearby Cleone or Fort Bragg.
8139 Highway 1, Mendocino
Open 11am–3pm, Fri–Sun
The Van Damme Visitor center, which was built as a recreation hall by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s, features a life like model of an underwater surge channel, complete with all of the creatures and plants that live in the tidal environment. Hold your breath and pretend you are diving under the waves! You will also find a mural depicting an artist’s rendition of early Native American life along the coast.
A gift shop offers park T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, games, toys and more! Your purchases help fund the Mendocino Area Parks Association’s educational programs and projects. The knowledgeable volunteer docent can help guide your visit, whether planning a hike up the Fern Canyon, or planning a dinner out in Little River or Mendocino.
There is a beach access wheelchair, with tires that roll easily over the sand, parked at the visitor center. The chair can be reserved by calling 937-5804. A weeks’ notice is recommended.
69350 U.S. Hwy. 101
Leggett, CA 95585
Campground open all year. Day use areas open sunrise to sunset.
Winter Rates (September 16 thru May 14)
$25 for all sites in open loops (Rock Creek open year round).
Summer Rates (May 15–September 15)
$25 - map-designated sites near highway
$30 - Hickey and Rock Creek Loops
$40 - Redwood Loop July 1st - September 15th
Call 707.925.6482 to verify Redwood campground is open. The salmonid count and the flow of the South Fork of the Eel River affect the installation timing of the seasonal bridge.
Camp Hosts needed for 2017 - Call 707.925.6482 for more information.
Standish-Hickey SRA is operated by the nonprofit Mendocino Area Parks Association. Read more below.
Encompassing 1,012 acres of park lands with two miles of river frontage, Standish-Hickey offers to travelers driving north on Highway 101 the first chance to walk and sleep in old growth redwood groves and swim in a wild and scenic river.
At the "gateway to the tall trees country," the area offers camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, and swimming on the South Fork of the Eel River which winds through the park for almost two miles. One of the few virgin redwood-stands remaining in this area can be seen on the Grove Trail, which is ADA compliant, as are several of the campsites. Nearly ten miles of trails weave through steep canyon bluffs, second-growth forests and pockets of old-growth redwood and Douglas-fir. The fast-moving river—with its rapids, holes of varying depths, calm shallow areas, and cobblestone bed—is especially popular with both swimmers and anglers
Location: Off of Highway 101, 1.5 miles north of Leggett, CA
Entry Station Kiosk: 707.925.6482
Temperature: Park visitors enjoy warm summer temperatures, varying between 70 and 100 degrees. Winter temperatures range from 20 to 75 degrees. Heavy coastal rainfall averages 70 inches per year.
In 2011, 8 out of the 15 state parks in Mendocino County were slated for closure, including Standish Hickey SRA. The community surrounding Standish Hickey SRA approached MAPA and asked if MAPA could help to keep Standish open.
The decision by MAPA to put in the bid for the operation of Standish Hickey SRA was not done lightly. Standish-Hickey SRA is located inland near the northern border of Mendocino County, about an hour and a half from our offices on the coast in Mendocino. However, with encouragement from the Standish Community, and in spite of challenging logistics and virtually zero experience with park operations, MAPA decided to take a leap of faith. With considerable assistance from the CA State Parks Foundation, MAPA did the work necessary to take on the operation of a State Park campground. MAPA has now been successfully operating Standish-Hickey SRA since 2012. The group effort of community volunteers, MAPA board members and staff is affectionately known as “Team Standish.”
MAPA employs 3 regular part-time employees and 4 additional seasonal employees at Standish-Hickey SRA. MAPA is responsible for administration, visitor services, maintenance, and interpretation at the park. In addition MAPA has an internship program through Humboldt State Universities’ Recreation Department. HSU interns have the opportunity to observe and experience working in all aspects of park management.
Want to know more? Check out the Standish Hickey Annual Report
Download the Application to apply for job openings.
Top photo attribution: By Punk Toad [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.