The Mendocino Headlands are an unique blend of gentle trails, rugged coastline, secluded beaches and timeless history surrounding the Village of Mendocino on three sides. Three miles of trails wind along the cliffs, giving the casual explorer spectacular views of sea arches, tidepools and hidden grottos, perfect for a romantic stroll. The park began operation in 1974. The original idea for the park came from the citizens of Mendocino in the late 1960's. Rumors of a planned housing development for the headlands brought the people together who wanted to preserve the property as natural open space. Now the park land provides Mendocino with a buffer area that preserves the towns historical presence. In return, the town provides a view of a unique blend of natural, ecological, cultural and social diversity.
In any season, a visit to Mendocino Headlands State Park will provide a memorable experience. You might come to see the spring wildflowers, enjoy a crisp and clear fall day, escape to a cool summer climate or witness the winter migration of grey whale. The park serves as a window through which to view the past and a pathway to new discoveries. There are no camping facilities; visitors are day users only. Activities range from hiking to surfing and from fishing to sport diving. On the south side of Mendocino, accessible by vehicle from Highway 1, or by trails down the bluffs, is Big River Beach. This is used by picnickers, sun bathers and players in the surf. Photographers and painters frequently visit various parts of Mendocino Headlands enjoying and capturing the scenic wonders. Use caution when on the rocks at the ocean edge.
The Mendocino Area Parks Association operates the historic Ford House on Main Street in Mendocino. Current and historic information about the area is available to Mendocino visitors, including a scale model of 1890 Mendocino. Interpretive walks, led by MAPA docents occur regularly. Check times at the Ford House.
Surrounding all three sides of Mendocino.
Big River Beach Trail begins behind the Church.
Bathrooms on North & South Headlands