With over 12 miles of Northern California's Mendocino Coast, our beaches offer more things to do, a rugged coastline with hidden coves and sea caves, more interesting rocks, lots of birds, clear water and solitude. What more could you ask for?
Fort Bragg also is proud to be the official “ Gateway ” to the California Coastal National Monument along the Mendocino Coast. Located off the 1,100 miles of California coastline, the California Coastal National Monument comprises more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon. All those beautiful rocks are home to sea lions, harbor seals, pelicans, gulls and abundant marine life.
If you love to hike, you'll love Fort Bragg as your home base. A few of our favorites:
- Ten-Mile Beach , often deserted, is miles and miles of sand beach and sand dunes: ideal for running, reading, picnicking and, of course, just plain hiking. Views of the Lost Coast.
- MacKerricher State Park Haul Road : the old Haul Road runs for miles along the ocean, and it's closed to motorized traffic. It includes a boardwalk that takes you out to an observation platform above the rocks where harbor seals raise their pups in April and May.
- Point Cabrillo Light Station is a state historic park and nature preserve with several miles of trails, and it's an excellent venue for whalewatching.
- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has 47-acres of woods, plants, and coastal views all connected by easy paved trails.
- The Forest History Trail in Jackson State Forest is a four-mile loop through second growth redwoods with several strenuous sections.
- Jug Handle Nature Preserve is a five-mile roundtrip to the Hans Jenny Pygmy forest along the Ecological Staircase trail.
- 11 Redwoods Walks: click here to learn more.
Fort Bragg and surrounding areas provide some great terrain for cycling and mountain biking whether you are looking for an easy glide around town, or seeking more challenging terrain. The recently completed Pudding Creek Trestle now bridges the town with the seaside recreational path called the California Coastal Trail. The path begins just south of the Pudding Creek trestle and extends north past several oceanfront motels up to MacKerricher State Park and Ten Mile Beach. Riders can pick up the convenient trail in town and avoid the highway automobile traffic.
Each year, hundreds of bicycle tourists pass through Fort Bragg during their journey along Highway One, one of the most spectacular oceanfront highways in the world. Fort Bragg offers many different motels and campgrounds just off of the Highway for a layover. Trail guide click here.
This is the best coastal kayaking in all of California! Paddling only four miles took six hours because there were so many caves, arches, wave pour-overs, sea birds and seals to check out,” said one visitor. “Big safe beaches to land on and launch from, and expert guides to take us safely through every feature.” From wild to mild, you'll find kayaking adventures for every level of experience.Local Kayak Companies
Two local outdoor adventure companies are ready to get you on the water.
Liquid Fusion Kayaking offers both instruction and guided tours for river and ocean kayakers. Several of Fort Bragg's rivers are navigable by kayak, including the Noyo River.
Sub-Surface Progression in Fort Bragg rents kayaks for both ocean and river exploration.
Ocean kayaking should not be attempted without some instruction. Gentle currents ( check local tide charts ) provide endless hours of family enjoyment along the rivers, viewing sea lions, harbor seals, and many species of birds. Liquid Fusion offers sunset bird paddles.
Whalewatching and Sport fishing
Whale Watching is one of Fort Bragg's most popular attractions during the winter and spring, when Gray and Humpback whales make their annual migration along the coast. After spending the summer months feeding in the waters of the Arctic, these giant creatures travel south to Baja, California to mate and nurse their young. In late spring, the whales head north again, for another summer of feeding. Whales can very often been seen just offshore at MacKerricher State Park, or many of the other headlands along Fort Bragg's shoreline. Daily Whale Watching trips depart from Noyo Harbor, and take interested spectators out on the Pacific for a closer glimpse at these gentle giants.
The Fort Bragg Whale Festival, held in mid-March, brings regional microbreweries to town, offering their best pilsners, stouts and ales for tasting at historic Town Hall. Other events include wine tasting, the chowder tasting and competition, arts & crafts fair, art exhibits and guided whale walks at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and MacKerricher State Park. While in Fort Bragg, don't forget to plan a whale watching boat tour on the sea with Whale Watching Charter Boats out of Noyo Harbor. Also during the Whale Festival, the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse offers fun and educational activities for the whole family, including information on the migration of our gentle giants of the Pacific.
All of the companies listed on this website under “fishing” also run whale watching excursions during the whale migrations. Whale watching boats will also take you out any time during the year for sport fishing cruises. You can catch your own salmon, red snapper, or other delicacies!
The whales can also be viewed from shore at these locations:
- MacKerricher State Park and Glass Beach
- Pomo Bluffs
- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
- Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
Ricochet Ridge Ranch Horseback riding on California's Mendocino Coast
Ricochet Ridge Ranch offers unforgettable trail rides, horseback riding tours, Redwood Coast riding vacations, and custom riding vacations near Fort Bragg. Book a ride with us today to experience Northern California's beaches, ranches, and redwood forests!
The Fort Bragg Skate Park is a must for families that skateboard together and skateboarders looking for a place to practice their moves or sharpen their skills. The park is a haven for the many skateboarders and board sports enthusiasts living and visiting the Mendocino coast.
A work in progress, the Fort Bragg Skate Park boasts a number of unique obstacles as well as standard skate park features. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood, it borders the aquatic and fitness center which makes it a perfect and fun destination for the whole family. Local skateboarders are welcoming and supportive.
As one mother of a local skateboarder put it, “I am thankful for it every day… a place where kids can set goals for themselves and work over and over until they achieve them. It's a place where kids can learn from each other and figure out how to share and get along.” Most of the experienced older skateboarders encourage, nurture and help the younger skaters develop their skills. Camaraderie and supporting your fellow skateboarders' efforts is strongly encouraged.
The skate park is free, and open to the public from 9 am to sunset. Full protective gear is required, and bicycles are not permitted. Park patrons who skate without helmets and pads risk receiving hefty fines from local police who regularly patrol the plaza.
The Fort Bragg Skate Park is located at the C.V. Starr Community Center at 300 South Lincoln and Willow Streets in beautiful Fort Bragg, California. Meet local skateboarders and find out about new features on their Facebook page: The Fort Bragg Skate Park Coalition.Location
300 S. Lincoln St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437