A few miles north of Fort Bragg, you’ll find one of the wildest, most pristine, and diverse coastal ecosystems in California. In addition to more than 140 campsites, MacKerricher State Park includes a variety of protected habitats, from tidepools and sand dunes to forest and wetlands. Each habitat offers an up-close picture of native wildlife—harbor seals lounging in the sun, migrating gray whales swimming right off shore, black-tailed deer nibbling foliage at the edge of the park’s 30-acre lake, and more than 90 species of birds foraging the kelp beds and coastline.
Explore the park by bike with a ride along the Haul Road Coastal Trail, an old logging route used to transport lumber to the mill in Fort Bragg, and continue onto the Coastal Trail, which tours the Inglenook Fen Ten Mile Dunes Natural Preserve. Check the park bulletin boards for current activities, including docent-led hikes and Junior Ranger programs for kids. A private horseback tour operator called Ricochet Ridge Ranch leads rides around the park and beach.
Located at the south end of the park’s nine miles of coastal territory, campsites include picnic tables, food storage lockers, and fire rings, and restrooms are located throughout the four camping areas. There are also 10 “pack-in” sites that are accessible by a 50-yard walk.