Navarro River Redwoods State Park is a state park in Mendocino County, California, consisting of 660 acres (2.7 km2) of second-growth redwood forest in a narrow stretch 11 miles (18 km) long on both banks of the Navarro River, from the town of Navarro to the river's confluence with the Pacific Ocean.
The park may be reached via State Route 128, which winds through the park along the north bank of the river and has many turnouts, allowing travelers to stop for day use activities such as picnics and short walks through the forest. Fishing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are also possible.
Two developed campgrounds are part of the park. The Navarro Beach Campground is on the beach to the south of the river mouth; it has ten campsites, picnic tables, fire grills, and pit toilets, but no shade or drinking water. The Paul M. Dimmick Campground is inland, in a second-growth redwood grove near the river; it has 25 campsites, picnic tables, fire grills, pit toilets, and drinking water, but it may be flooded in the winter.
The river supports coho salmon, steelhead trout, and river otters; great blue herons, kingfishers, loons, and osprey nest along its banks. Raccoons and black-tailed deer live in the forest, and gray whales and harbor seals may sometimes be seen from the beach on the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the river.
Because the region now covered by the park was heavily logged in the 19th century,only second-growth redwood trees remain. However, two groves of old-growth redwoods may be seen in nearby Hendy Woods State Park, upriver a few miles southeast on Route 128.
The park land near the Navarro beach includes several historic buildings. Captain Fletcher's Inn was built by Charles Fletcher, a Scottish sailor who came to the area in 1851 and was the first European settler on the Navarro estuary. In 1860, Fletcher sold most of his land to Henry Tichenor and Robert G. Byxbee, who built a lumber mill on it in 1861. Fletcher then built his inn in 1865 to house sailors in the lumber trade while they waited for their ships to load. In time, a town of 1,000 people sprang up around the mill, called Navarro. A train on the north bank of the river brought logs to the mouth of the river, where they were brought across to the mill on the south bank. The mill closed in 1893, and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and several fires reduced the town to almost nothing by 1921; in 1922, the road that would become Highway 128 was built, re-using portions of the train bed. The inn remained open until the 1970s; the Navarro Mill Company House, and the Mill Superintendent's House (now home to the Navarro-by-the-Sea Center, a nonprofit group that maintains the buildings) also remain.
The town at the mouth of the Navarro River was not the only town in the area called Navarro. After the mill at the mouth of the Navarro burned down in 1902, G.C. Wendling built a new mill on the North Fork of the Navarro River, near the inland tip of what is now the park. In 1905, the town of Wendling was founded around the mill. In 1914, the Wendling Mill was purchased by the Navarro Lumber Company, at which point the town of Wendling also became known as Navarro Mill and eventually Navarro. In order to distinguish it from the inland Navarro, the town at the beach became known as Old Navarro, Navarro Ridge, or Navarro-by-the-sea.
In 1970, the beach and Fletcher's Inn (by then known as the Navarro-by-the-Sea Hotel) came to the attention of the California Supreme Court in the law case Dietz v. King, also known as Gion–Dietz because it was decided together with another case, Gion v. City of Santa Cruz. Starting in around 1949, the owners of the hotel had posted a 50 cent toll on the dirt access road to the beach, although beachgoers had not always paid the charge. The King family bought land including the beach and the road in 1959, and blocked public access to the beach; the Dietzes, representing the public, sued in 1966. The Supreme Court considered the hundred-year-long history of free public access to the beach (interrupted only during World War II, when the U.S. Coast Guard used it as a base for their patrols) and ruled that the access road was a public right-of-way.
The Paul M. Dimmick State Park, a 12 acres (0.049 km2) site now part of Navarro River Redwoods, was established in 1928; it was named after a former superintendent at the Albion Lumber Company. The surrounding land of Navarro River Redwoods State Park was purchased on behalf of the California state park system by the Save the Redwoods League in 1987. The parks department also bought the Fletcher Inn in 1996 for $300,000, and in 1998 the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed it as one of their "Save America's Treasures" projects.
Fort Bragg, officially the City of Fort Bragg, is a city along 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 (26 m). Its population was 7,273 at the 2010 census.
Anderson Valley is a sparsely populated region in western Mendocino County in Northern California. Located approximately 100 miles (160 km) north of San Francisco, the name "Anderson Valley" applies broadly to several rural, unincorporated communities in or near the alluvial terraces along Anderson Creek and other tributaries to the Navarro River.
The Navarro River is a 28.3-mile-long (45.5 km) river in Mendocino County, California, United States. It flows northwest through the Coastal Range to the Pacific Ocean. The main stem of the Navarro River begins less than 1 mile (2 km) south of the town of Philo at the confluence of Rancheria Creek and Anderson Creek. The mouth of the Navarro is 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Mendocino. State Route 128 starts from the intersection of State Route 1 at the mouth of the Navarro River, and follows the river valley upstream to Philo. The river is close to the highway through the lower canyon but is some distance south of the highway as the Anderson Valley widens upstream of Wendling.
Elk is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California. It is located 22 miles (35 km) south of Fort Bragg, at an elevation of 135 feet.
Gualala is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County in the U.S. state of California. It is located north of The Sea Ranch and south of Point Arena, California. Gualala shares its southern border with the southern border of Mendocino County. It is located on the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Gualala River, on State Route 1. It serves as a commercial center for the surrounding area. Gualala was once a logging town, but tourism is now its central economic activity.
Van Damme State Park consists of about 1,831 acres (7.41 km2) of land in Mendocino County, California, near the town of Little River on State Route 1. It was named for Charles Van Damme (1881–1934), who was born in the area and purchased the land that is now the park with profits from a San Francisco ferry business. On his death, the property became part of the California state park system.
Hendy Woods State Park is a California state park, located in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. It is known for its old-growth coast redwoods and also provides camping facilities near the wineries of the Anderson Valley. It is named after Joshua Hendy, who owned the land and stipulated that it be protected; it passed through several owners after Hendy without being logged, before becoming part of the California State Park system in 1958.
New Brighton State Beach is a 95 acres (38 ha) beach park on Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County, California, consisting of a beach and campgrounds. The park is located east of Santa Cruz in Capitola, on Park Avenue off of Highway 1. The park is adjacent to Seacliff State Beach, which is known for its fishing pier and sunk concrete freighter, The Palo Alto. The beach overlooks Soquel Cove and Monterey Bay.
The Albion River is an 18.1-mile-long (29.1 km) river in Mendocino County, California. The river drains about 43 square miles (110 km2) on the Mendocino Coast and empties into the Pacific Ocean near the town of Albion, California, where California State Route 1 crosses it on the Albion River Bridge. The river's overall direction is east to west, but it moves significantly in the north-south direction. The tributaries of the river include Railroad Gulch, Pleasant Valley Creek, Duck Pond Gulch, South Fork Albion River, Tom Bell Creek, North Fork Albion River, and Marsh Creek. The river's most inland point is only 15 miles (24 km) from the coast, and its highest elevation is about 1,570 feet (480 m) above sea level. There is a large estuary at the mouth of the river, and tidal waters travel up to 5 miles (8 km) upstream. The Albion River was previously used to power a sawmill on the river mouth, but there are no major dams or reservoirs on the river. The river provides recreation, groundwater recharge and industrial water supply for the community of Albion, and wildlife habitat including cold freshwater habitat for fish migration and spawning.
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.
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 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 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.
Redwood Empire Council is the local council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves youth in Mendocino and Sonoma counties in California.
Gualala Point Regional Park is a regional park on Gualala Point at the mouth of the Gualala River in Sonoma County, California, south of Gualala. The 103-acre (42 ha) park is maintained by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department.
Navarro, formerly known as Wendling, is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County in the U.S. state of California. It is located 18 miles (29 km) west of Ukiah, at an elevation of 269 feet (82 m). It may be reached via east–west California State Route 128, which connects it to the Pacific coast to the west and to the Anderson Valley to the southeast.
Usal Creek is the southernmost drainage basin unbridged by California State Route 1 on California's Lost Coast. The unpaved county road following the westernmost ridge line south from the King Range crosses Usal Creek near the Pacific coast, but the bridge may be removed during winter months. Usal Creek, 9.7 miles (15.6 km) long, drains about 28 square miles (73 km2) on the Mendocino Coast and empties into the Pacific Ocean near the former company town of Usal.
The Fort Bragg and Southeastern Railroad was formed by Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway as a consolidation of logging railways extending inland from Albion, California on the coast of Mendocino County. The railroad and its predecessors operated from 1 August 1885 to 16 January 1930. The line was merged into the regional Northwestern Pacific Railroad in 1907; but planned physical connection was never completed.
Mendocino Lumber Company operated a sawmill on Big River near the town of Mendocino, California. The sawmill began operation in 1853 as the Redwood Lumber Manufacturing Company, and changed ownership several times before cutting its final logs in 1938. The sawmill site became part of the Big River Unit of Mendocino Headlands State Park where a few features of the mill and its associated forest railway are still visible along the longest undeveloped estuary in northern California.
Navarro, or Navarro-by-the-Sea, a historic site in Mendocino County, California, on Navarro Beach Rd. near Albion, California, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. The listing was for two contributing buildings on 8.5 acres (3.4 ha).