MacKerricher State Park

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Fort Bragg
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Most of the hiking and walking to be done a MacKerricher State Park occurs along the Coastal Trail and Haul Road. Haul Road used to serve as the route for a railway between Ten Mile River and Fort Bragg. Today it provides a mostly flat and straight shot along the Pacific coast. The path is partially paved, but a bit rough and worn here and there.

Near the core of the park's headquarters and main entrance lies the small Lake Cleone where a trail circles the body of water. Part of the trail consists of boardwalk, particularly along the lake's more marshy eastern shore.

Speaking of boardwalks, to the west of the lake, across the Haul Road, lies another boardwalk that leads to the end of the Pacific Ocean. From the parking lot the boardwalk forms a triangle with an apex leading out to Laguna Point. At the point a good number of harbor seals can be seen resting and sunning themselves on small islands just offshore. Informative displays at the viewing platform provide a bit of insight into the lives of the pinnipeds.

Depending upon the time of year, farther offshore one might also be able to spy whales as they migrate north or south. Look for their telltale vertical spouts of water as they come to the surface to breath.

Virgin Creek
The trail as it prepares to cross the sandy mouth of Virgin Creek. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
A sand dune to the left breaks up the straight, flat terrain along the trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Motels on the coast
A look back along the trail towards one of the motels in which we were staying. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Harbor seals take a rest on rocky islets just off of the coast. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Lands end
Coppertone at the platform marking the end of the trail. Note the harbor seals resting on the rocky islands in the background. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
To the sea
The boardwalk continues right to the Pacific Ocean. A viewing platform on the edge awaits. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Given the muddy trails we experienced elsewhere, the dry boardwalk here provided for a pleasant stroll. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
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