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Mendocino Headlands State Park

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Mendocino Mendocino
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The town of Mendocino was founded in 1850, one of the first towns on the northern California coast that sprung up to take advantage of the nearby stands of coastal Redwoods. The Victorian nature of the town remains intact and the area is in fact on the National Register of Historic Places.

Circling this small outpost of a bygone era and almost buffering it from the Pacific Ocean is Mendocino Headlands State Park. When logging was active in the area this land was used in part to transfer logs onto ships for transport to San Francisco and other ports. After the Redwoods were played out the lumber industry moved on and state moved in and acquired the land in 1957 and 1974.

The trails in the headlands generally follows the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, almost making a semi-circle around the town. The path is relatively flat and consists of packed dirt and rock. Near the southernmost portion of the trail a large fenced off hole in the rock looks into an arch tunnel joining the Pacific and Portuguese Beach. As waves slam into the arch the water is churned into a frenzied caldron.


Arch Worn logs piled up on a beach. Note the water rushing through the long rock arch on the right. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Mendocino Looking back onto the town of Mendocino from the trails. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Into the void Looking into the hole punched through the arch. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Waves Oceans waves slam onto the shore and into the arch. Mendocino in the background. (Photo by Austin Explorer) Cove Coppertone on the trail on a cold and windy day. (Photo by Austin Explorer)

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