On our way back from Oregon last week, we stopped in Ft Bragg for another visit. We walked from Pudding Creek and went as far as we could – about 4 miles round trip. The south and north trails are not yet connected.
At Glass Beach we saw many abalone divers – looking like Ninja Turtles with their floating devices.
New plantings as part of the ongoing restoration of the area announced themselves like a Christo installation.
These tree plantings didn’t look too healthy – protected from deer but in need of more water.
Elsewhere on the trail the flowers were blooming strongly.
The following from our visit in January.
Walking Noyo Headlands
On last week’s trip up the coast, we raced off to Ft Bragg before the rain was due. A missed turn brought us to Pomo Bluffs at Todd’s Point. It’s on the south side of the Noyo River. (For Overboard fans, think “Arturo!” “Katarina!”) For hardy walkers take a half mile back to the highway, then along Hwy 1 to get to the entrance for Noyo Headlands. We were trying to beat the rain, so we drove around.
Off of Hwy 1, we turned at Cypress and headed to the ocean. The trail goes back along the river to a historic cemetery. We headed out the river to the ocean. This section of the trail just opened and is less than a mile.
A coast guard boat weaved in the river and then went out to the ocean. I was fascinated by the waves, but didn’t take time for videos this time.
Guidelines kept us back from the fragile cliff edge. In one spot was a clear sinkhole. A sign describes how the land goes from a blowhole to a punchbowl – this one is called Skip’s Punchbowl, after a geologist, Skip Wollenberg.
Most of the trail is paved, some shortcuts or out and backs are hard packed gravel – very even. Only less than a mile this trail will soon connect to a trail that goes to MacKerricker State Park. This marker – and thank you, Coastal Conservancy – indicates 187 mile to Oregon and 673 to Mexico.
Each bench and picnic table were different. Looked like various groups or individuals had donated their expertise to construction. Here are a couple of my favorites.
The rain was starting to come down harder. We came back later for these pictures. While the restoration of this Georgia Pacific lumber mill land has taken out lots of cement and buildings, this airstrip still exists. It was used from 1949 until the mill closed in 2002.
Next to the airstrip is a good sized dog park. Actually two, one for smaller dogs. On this day only one dog was enjoying the open space. Dogs on leash (connected to a person) are allowed on the trail.
We took a peek through the rain at Glass Beach trail and the bridge across Pudding Creek.
The next morning, we came back. I studied the map and read the story of the trees and Pomo legacy.
Near the ocean, the route is split between easy and difficult trails to Glass Beach. This site was Ft. Bragg’s garbage dump until 1959. Many years of the ocean’s work turned the glass and ceramics to a colorful beach. A lot of the smoothed glass has been removed by visitors, but if we leave the glass there – we can all enjoy a colorful beach.
This is the easy route.
This is not the easy way on many steps down.
The trail wanders along the coast, all paved and even. Sometime it will connect to the trail where we were the day before near the Noyo River.
The trail is about 3/4 mile long. In a few spots are offshoots from the trail with great looks to sea.
The coast is dynamic and the mountains to the north beautiful.
This day, we were able to cross Pudding Creek.
The trail north goes to MacKerricher Beach. Cleone Lake is about 2.5 miles.
We were excited to come back again. In sun or rain, the new trails provide a great and easy way to explore the Mendocino Coast.
See you on the trail!
Words and (phone) pictures by Lynn Millar, better pictures by Mike Millar, available upon request.
Had to add again, this picture of storm at sea near the town of Mendocino. We have come here many times over 30 years, often in January – because of this very sight. Our January 2010 Mendocino Trip.