MacKerricher State Park

Last updated
MacKerricher State Park
MacKerricher Beach.jpg
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location Mendocino County, California
Nearest city Fort Bragg, California
Coordinates 39°29′36″N123°47′37″W / 39.49333°N 123.79361°W / 39.49333; -123.79361 Coordinates: 39°29′36″N123°47′37″W / 39.49333°N 123.79361°W / 39.49333; -123.79361
Area2,299 acres (930 ha)
Established1952
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Harbor seal nursing her pup on MacKerricher Beach Nursing Harbor Seal pup (cropped).jpg
Harbor seal nursing her pup on MacKerricher Beach

MacKerricher State Park is a state park in California in the United States. It is located three miles north of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. It covers nine miles of coastline and contains several types of coastal habitat, including beaches, dunes, headlands, coves, wetlands, tide pools, forest, and a freshwater lake. [1]

Contents

Natural features

The northern coastline of the park is a long, sloping beach, and the southern section is made up of rocky cliffs and flats separating smaller strips of beach. Inland from the ocean is Lake Cleone, a former brackish marsh that was closed by the construction of a road and became a 30-acre freshwater lake. Much of the northern section of the park is occupied by the Inglenook Fen Ten Mile Dunes Preserve, a sensitive dune complex with wetland and terrestrial vegetation zones. Laguna Point is a peninsula near the middle of the park. The Ten Mile River marks the upper boundary of the park, and several creeks drain run through the landscape and into the Pacific Ocean. [1]

The headlands are covered in grasses and wildflowers. Wooded areas just inland have stands of bishop pine (Pinus muricata), shore pine (Pinus contorta), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). [1] The park contains 95% of the entire distribution of the rare Mendocino spineflower (Chorizanthe howellii), which grows in the protected dunes of the Inglenook Preserve. [2] Animals in the area include harbor seals, which haul out on the rocks to sun. Gray whales on their annual migration are visible from shore between December and April, providing whale watching opportunities. Other mammals include black-tailed deer, raccoons, gray foxes, and occasionally mountain lions. There are many forms of tide pool life. There are more than 90 species of birds, including migratory waterfowl and permanent residents such as ospreys, great blue herons, ring-necked ducks, and mallards. [1] The tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi) is an endangered species of fish that lives in the local creeks and rivers. Some of these waterways were recently designated critical habitat for the fish, and the park may be expanded to preserve it. [3]

History

Indigenous peoples of California including the Pomo and Yuki peoples lived in or traveled through the region, utilizing resources such as seaweed, shellfish, and acorns. [1] The Mendocino Indian Reservation was established in the area. The Canadians Duncan and Jessie MacKerricher moved to the area in 1864. They hired a staff of native people to work on their ranch, which produced butter, potatoes, and draft horses. [4] In 1949 their descendants sold the MacKerricher property to the state of California, which made it a state park. [1]

Recreation

Parks staff leads hikes and whale watching ventures. It maintains campgrounds and other facilities. Lake Cleone is available for fishing. There are trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding. [1]

Glass Beach, at the southern end of the park, is famous for its fields of sand-polished glass pebbles. They are remnants of garbage that was piled on the beach when it was used as a dump by area residents in the 1950s and '60s. After decades of friction in the tides, discarded broken glass has been reduced to smooth, attractive trinkets sought by casual collectors. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Mendocino County, California County in California, United States

Mendocino County is a county located on the North Coast of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 87,841. The county seat is Ukiah.

Fort Bragg, California City in California, United States

Fort Bragg, officially the City of Fort Bragg, lies on the Pacific Coast of California along Shoreline Highway in Mendocino County. It is 24 mi (39 km) west of Willits, at an elevation of 85 feet. Its population was 7,273 at the 2010 census.

Western Port

Western Port, commonly but unofficially known as Western Port Bay, is a large tidal bay in southern Victoria, Australia, opening into Bass Strait. It is the second largest bay in the state. Geographically, it is dominated by the two large islands; French Island and Phillip Island. Contrary to its name, it lies to the east of the larger Port Phillip, and is separated from it by the Mornington Peninsula. It is visited by Australian fur seals, whales and dolphins, as well as many migratory waders and seabirds. It is listed under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international significance.

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Dune system in California

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes is the largest remaining dune system south of San Francisco and the second largest in the U.S. state of California. It encompasses an 18-mile (29 km) stretch of coastline on the Central Coast of California and extends from southern San Luis Obispo County to northern Santa Barbara County.

Area code 707 Area code for northwestern California, United States

Area code 707 is a telephone area code in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) for the northwestern part of the U.S. state of California. It was created by a split of area code 415 on March 1, 1959. It serves part of the northern San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the North Coast. Major cities in the area code include Napa, Sebastopol, Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Fort Bragg, Crescent City, Eureka, Clearlake, Vacaville, Ukiah, and northwestern California.

Big River (California) River in Mendocino County, California (USA), south of Mendocino Village

The Big River is a 41.7-mile-long (67.1 km) river in Mendocino County, California, that flows from the northern California Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean at Mendocino, Mendocino County, California. From the mouth, brackish waters extend 8 miles (13 km) upstream, forming the longest undeveloped estuary in the state.

North Coast (California) Place in California, United States

The North Coast of California is the region in Northern California that lies on the Pacific coast between San Francisco Bay and the Oregon border. The area is named after the dense redwood forests throughout the region. It commonly includes Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties and sometimes includes two counties from the San Francisco Bay area, Marin and Sonoma.

Mendocino Headlands State Park

Mendocino Headlands State Park is a California State Park in Mendocino, California. It consists of 347 acres (1.4 km2) of undeveloped seaside bluffs and islets surrounding the town of Mendocino, two beaches, and the much larger Big River Unit stretching for eight miles (13 km) along both banks of the nearby Big River.

Russian Gulch State Park

Russian Gulch State Park is a California State Park in coastal Mendocino County, California, 2 mi (3.2 km) north of Mendocino and 7 mi (11 km) south of Fort Bragg.

Glass Beach (Fort Bragg, California) Beach in northern California, USA

Glass Beach is a beach adjacent to MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California, that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town.

Black Pond Wildlife Management Area

Black Pond Wildlife Management Area is a 526-acre (213 ha) New York State Wildlife Management Area (WMA) that lies on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, and at the northern limit of an unusual region of sandy barrier beaches and lagoons. Much of the barrier beach in Black Pond WMA has forested sand dunes that are about 60 feet (18 m) high; these are the highest sand dunes in the northeast United States excepting Cape Cod. Immediately north of the WMA is the 360-acre (150 ha) El Dorado Beach Preserve, which is a bird refuge owned by The Nature Conservancy. North of the outlet from Black Pond to Lake Ontario, the shoreline is a weathered, flat bedrock shelf that is "calcareous" instead of sandy.

Caspar Headlands State Beach

Caspar Headlands State Beach is a protected beach in the state park system of California, USA. It is located in Northern California in Mendocino County near the village of Caspar. The 75-acre (30 ha) park was established in 1972.

Chorizanthe howellii is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family known by the common names Mendocino spineflower and Howell's spineflower. It is endemic to coastal Mendocino County, California, where it is known only from the sand dunes and coastal scrub near Fort Bragg. It is estimated that 95% of the remaining individuals of this plant are part of a single population growing at MacKerricher State Park. It is a federally listed endangered species.

Inglenook, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Inglenook is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California. It is located on Inglenook Creek 8 miles (13 km) south of Westport and approximately 3 miles (5 km) north of Cleone, at an elevation of 102 feet. California State Highway 1 passes through the town, connecting it to Cleone and Fort Bragg to the south and Westport to the north. Ten Mile River passes near the community to the north.

Ten Mile River (California) River in Mendocino County, California (USA), north of Fort Bragg

Ten Mile River is in northern Mendocino County, California, United States. It is named for the fact that its mouth is 10 miles (16 km) north of the mouth of the Noyo River. The lands around lower Ten Mile River provide valuable freshwater and saltwater marsh habitat for a variety of birds. The Ten Mile River Estuary, Ten Mile Beach, and Ten Mile State Marine Reserve together form a marine protected area that extends from the estuary out to five nautical miles. Ten Mile Beach is also part of MacKerricher State Park, which extends approximately five miles southward from the mouth of the river to Cleone and includes approximately 1,300 acres (530 ha) of the "most pristine stretch of sand dunes [in California]."

Bowling Ball Beach

Bowling Ball Beach is a part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, in Mendocino County, California, in the United States. It is named for the spherical sandstone concretions found there at low tide.

Virgin Creek A small stream in Mendocino County, California (USA) north of Fort Bragg

Virgin Creek is a small stream in Mendocino County, California north of Fort Bragg. It is approximately 2.9 miles (4.7 km) long, with no tributaries, and drains a watershed area of approximately 4.2 square miles (11 km2). It passes from forested areas near its headwaters, at an elevation of 320 feet (98 m), through residential developments, to a sandy beach on the Pacific Ocean in MacKerricher State Park at its mouth. Approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the mouth, it passes over a waterfall approximately 9 feet (2.7 m) high that may form a barrier for fish; below the waterfall, young salmon have been observed.

Sitka Sedge State Natural Area Natural area in Tillamook County, Oregon, United States

Sitka Sedge State Natural Area is an estuary and beach on the north coast of the U.S. state of Oregon in Tillamook County. Sitka Sedge consists of 357 acres (144 ha) of tidal marsh, mudflats, dunes, forested wetlands, and uplands at the south end of the Sand Lake estuary, north of Tierra Del Mar.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 MacKerricher State Park Brochure. Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine California Department of Parks and Recreation. Rev. 2012.
  2. Chorizanthe howellii 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Arcata. September 2007.
  3. Hartzell, F. Changes coming to Inglenook Dunes Preserve. Fort Bragg Advocate-News April 11, 2013.
  4. State Parks of the Mendocino District: MacKerricher. California State Parks, Mendocino District.
  5. Reynolds, C. The fetid underbelly of Glass Beach. Los Angeles Times August 3, 2004.