Walking the wilds of Mendocino

By: DogTrekker Staff
Person walking dogs in redwoods

A big part of Mendocino County’s appeal is its hundreds of thousands of acres of dog-friendly public lands, which range from sprawling, 913,300-acre Mendocino National Forest and Snow Mountain Wilderness to coastal preserves like the newly designated Point Arena-Stornetta National Monument, consisting of 1,665 spectacular acres on the wild and windswept coast.

Often overlooked but with much to offer DogTrekkers is Jackson Demonstration State Forest just east of Fort Bragg. At 50,000 acres, it’s the largest of eight forests used by Cal Fire to demonstrate sustained production of timber while maintaining soil, water, scenic, wildlife, and recreational values. Recreational amenities include campgrounds and about a dozen dog-friendly trails and logging roads leading through a variety of forested terrain. Standouts include the Chamberlain Creek Waterfall Trail, leading to a cascade tucked away in an old-growth redwood grove; and the Forest History Trail, a rigorous, 4.5-mile loop with a steep climb to a ridge-top cloaked in mixed redwood forest. An interpretive brochure explains how Native Americans harvested materials from the forest, how logging methods used between 1850 and 1900 changed the landscape, and how experimental restoration practices in use today are changing it again.


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