Much photographed Mendocino Headlands State Park is one of few state parks to allow dogs on dirt trails. The Headlands Trail, two to five miles round trip, goes from the downtown Mendocino historic district to Big River Beach, where the Big River empties into Mendocino Bay.
Mendocino Headlands State Park blufftop benches make great resting spots for soaking up the views. An access trail leads to Portuguese Beach, known locally as Point Beach, where dogs on leashes are allowed.
Wooden steps cross a gully and the trail forks to offer two options: a route along the edge of the bluffs or an inland option making a straighter course to Big River.
Notice the remains of an old, oxen-powered railway that hauled lumber to a chute that transported it down from the bluff to waiting ships. Continue past the beach to reach a blow hole and enjoy more coastal scenery.
Please keep your dog on a leash, and watch out for foxtails during the summer!