NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park

Description: A likable destination on the Mendocino Coast. It is popular with abalone divers and sea kayakers. Attractions include redwoods, hiking the Fern Canyon Trail, access to the Little River and a visit to the Pygmy Forest, with mature trees stunted by the climate and terrain. A nice stop along the Mendocino Coast only 3 miles from the town of Mendocino. There are 10 miles of trail, kayak tours by arrangement with a vendor, and easy access to the many sights in the surrounding area. Russian Gulch and Mendocino Headlands State Parks are nearby. See our write-up on Highway 1 North for many attractions in this general area.

Facilities: 74 developed campsites for tents or RV's to 35 feet. 10 primitive environmental sites. 1 hike-in/ bike-in site. 1 group site for up to 50 people. Picnic tables, fire grills and food lockers. Beach-parking campsites. Separate picnic area, visitor center, hiking trails, bike trails, restrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. Some campsites are closed seasonally; others open year round. Reservations accepted at Reserve America at www.reserveamerica.com.

Open: Year round. Some camp sites closed seasonally, as is the visitors center (closed until May 24 as of this writing).

Location: Drive 2.5 miles south of Mendocino on Hwy. 1 and follow signs to the park.

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