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Mendocino's New Parklands

Stroll along twelve miles of untouched Mendocino County coastline.

The view from Point Arena's protected land.
Photo credit
Photo: Courtesy of Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management
Photo caption
The view from Point Arena's protected land.

Frothy sea coves, bunchgrass prairies, booming blowholes, and gamboling sea lions and seals provoke whistles and whoops from visitors to the Point Arena–Stornetta Public Lands, an expansive park that now gives access to 12 miles of coastline along the undeveloped cliffs near Point Arena, Calif.

In March of this year, 1,600 acres of the quintessential Mendocino County terrain were declared part of the California Coastal National Monument, a designation that also preserves tens of thousands of islands and rocks off the state’s shoreline.

“This is the monument’s first onshore addition, and it’s really the first time that people can set foot on it,” says Jeff Fontana, a public affairs specialist with the federal Bureau of Land Management, the agency that oversees the park. Visitors find easy access to a trailhead at Point Arena City Hall.

“It’s a really stunning landscape,” Fontana says. “You can hike out to the coastal bluffs and get a beautiful overview of Arena Cove and then head north for as long as you feel like walking.” (707) 468-4000,

This article was first published in July 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.