State Route 53
Lower Lake, CA 95457
Phone: (707) 994-0688
Walk through archeological sites from prehistoric times at this lovely and surprising preserve.
It’s not often that you can imagine life as it was some 10,000 years ago, but you get to play time traveler at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park on the shores of Clear Lake. The surprisingly undiscovered park contains picturesque oak woodlands, grass-covered hills, and a wildlife-rich tule marsh.
The preserve’s varied landscape once served as home to one of the largest groups of people in prehistoric California, the Southeastern Pomo. Today, Pomo descendants still live in the region. At the park, walk an easy mile on a flat trail to discover a reconstructed Pomo village and learn how the park’s archeological sites have revealed clues about this fascinating culture. One of the most populous Native American groups in California, the Pomo occupied the Anderson Marsh area as far back as 10,000 years ago. The village here represents one that Pomo elders would have built every year. Sitting in the quiet picnic area here, sitting amidst huts built of tule reeds, it’s easy to imagine the vibrant village life that once enlivened the scene—children playing, men heading off to fish, women cooking and weaving (Pomos were known as exceptional basket-makers).
Anderson Marsh Historic Park, named after a Scottish immigrant who had a cattle ranch here in 1885, also protects several habitats including freshwater marsh, oak woodland, grasslands, and riparian woodland. Explore it all on meandering trails; bring binoculars for excellent birdwatching, particularly in spring. In September, the park hosts an annual bluegrass festival.