The Ultimate Guide to the Best Hiking Trails in Mendocino

Getting out in nature isn’t just fun, it’s necessary for your mental and physical health! If hiking is one of your favorite hobbies and you’re ready to hit the trails after months spent inside, you’ve landed in the right place. Here, we’ll share five of our favorite hiking trails in Mendocino that will make your outdoor dreams come true. So, read on, take notes, and start packing your hiking boots! 

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5 Hiking Trails in Mendocino You Need to Add to Your Itinerary 

Jackson State Forest 

One of our favorite spots to go hiking is Jackson State Forest. This state park is in the nearby town of Fort Bragg and features three sets of trails that appeal to all skill levelsBefore you set out on your hike, sign up for one of their guided tours to learn all about the history of the forest and what it takes to keep it in great shape. 

Jug Handle State Natural Reserve 

If the trails in Jackson State Forest aren’t enoughhead over to the Jug Handle State Natural Reserve nearbyThis stunning park is located along the coast and offers the best of both the ocean and the forest. 

Make it a priority to check out the Ecological Staircase! This natural feature is an absolute must-see. Every 100,000 years or so, the Pacific Ocean pushes up a portion of the coast that over time has formed a unique staircase. The plants on each stair also represent this succession. You will notice that one stair is a prairie, the next is filled with pines, and the last is a fantastic pygmy forest! 

Van Damme State Park 

Van Damme State Park is another popular option for hikingThere are more than 10 miles of trails that are perfect for groups wanting to take it easy. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the pygmy forest, which houses cypress and pine trees that stand anywhere from 8 feet to just 6 inches tall. Venture by the cabbage patch, an area where skunk cabbage grows wild. Finally, take a walk by the canyon near Little River and admire the views! Remember to bring your camera so you can capture the beauty of the scenery.  

Fern Canyon Trail 

Fern Canyon is known for its 8.5-mile loop trail that will get your blood pumping. This area features spectacular views and trees that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into an ancient, magical forest. Be sure to stop by the waterfall for a picnic! 

Russian Gulch State Park 

We can’t talk about hiking in Mendocino without mentioning Russian Gulch State Park. This outdoor area features several trails with breathtaking views. One trail runs south along the coast for jaw-dropping vistas of the Pacific. Another leads inland and takes you through beautiful forests filled with indigenous trees. Note that some of the hiking trails allow bikes, so be aware that some might pass you during your hike. 

Rest and Unwind at Sea Rock Inn 

Cottage Sea Rock bed view overlooking the ocean - Mendocino Music FestivalAfter a wonderful day outdoors, you‘ll be ready for some muchneeded relaxation at Sea Rock Inn. Our Mendocino B&B is one of the top places to stay in Northern California and offers peace, tranquility, and easy access to the area’s best outdoor activities. Browse our selection of suites and cottages today and choose the one you prefer. You’ll love waking up to the sound of crashing waves and a hot cup of coffee with a side of ocean views. Did we mention that we also serve a delicious, homemade breakfast every morning? It’s so deliciousyou’ll wish it were morning all day long! 

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