Mendocino is perfectly positioned between redwood forests and the ocean, creating beautiful vistas and prime for exploring for a day. Visitors to our Mendocino boutique hotel, The Blue Door Group, love to get out and hike the California coast in the state parks near Mendocino. With 17 state parks in Mendocino County, there's no shortage of protected public land to enjoy. Here are three of our favorite state parks in Mendocino, perfect for a hike or a picnic:
Towering redwoods, a canyon filled with ferns, magical dwarf pine trees—this Mendocino state park has it all. Start at the Little River, where you can launch your kayak or watch divers head out for abalone. Hike the 5-mile loop through scenic Fern Canyon or a short quarter-mile walk through the Pygmy Forest, so-named for the 100-year-old pine trees that are only a foot tall.
You'll visit this Mendocino state park, even if you don't even know it—it surrounds the village of Mendocino, encompassing the cliffs overlooking the ocean and the sandy beaches below. The headlands make a great spot for whale watching December through April, and summer brings a spectacular display of California wildflowers. Check in at the visitor's center, located in the historic Ford House, on Main Street before exploring the park.
A few miles north of Mendocino village, this state park is perfect for the active traveler with options for biking, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and swimming. Hike less than two miles to a 35-foot waterfall surrounded by iconic redwoods or take the Headlands Trail to Devil's Punchbowl, a blowhole created by a collapsed sea cave on the three miles of the park's coastline. Don't miss the Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge, a Mendocino landmark, spanning the the Russian Gulch.