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Many of California’s most beautiful parks are within walking distance or a short drive of the MacCallum House. Thousands of acres of protected forests, meadows and rivers provide countless recreational opportunities. The innkeeper can direct you to many special adventures but you might check out a few before you arrive. Below is a list of the major parks within driving distance of the MacCallum House (listed from the North to the South):
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MacKerricher -

MacKerricher State Park offers a variety of habitats; beach, bluff, headland, dune, forest and wetland. Tidepools are along the shore. Seals live on the rocks off the parkÝs Mendocino coast. More than 90 species of birds visit or live near Cleone Lake, a formal tidal lagoon. During winter and spring, the nearby headland provides a good lookout for whale watching. The park is popular with hikers, joggers, equestrians and bicyclists. Fishing is also popular, with trout in two fresh-water lakes. The park has a wheelchair accessible nature trail.

The park is three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1, near the town of Cleone. The park encompasses much of the land west of Cleone and a strip of beach between Fort Bragg and Ten Mile River.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

About the Park
The Park is the only one in the park system that was at one time part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation. It is the only park unit that was part of the Union Lumber Companies vast timber and shipping holdings in northern Mendocino County. A small, independent logging and shipping operation began here, then was absorbed by the larger corporation. MacKerricher, known historically as Cleone, thus followed a pattern common to many of the small areas in the region. The park was officially opened in 1952; land was added along the Ten Mile beach until 1977, when the park contained more than 1,530 acres.

Jug Handle -

Jug Handle State Reserve is located on the Mendocino coast. The 769-acre park features a 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase which explores five wave-cut terraces formed by glacier, sea and tectonic activity that built the coast range.

Each of the terraces was uplifted from sea level about 100,000 years before the one below it. Plants on each terrace represent a more advanced stage in succession, indicating what the previous, next lower terrace may look like in 100,000 years. The lowest terrace consists of prairie; the second is covered with pines; the third supports a unique pigmy forest with knee-high trees possibly several decades old.

The reserve is adjacent to Highway One, one mile north of Caspar.

The Reserve is located on the north coast of California about equal distance (five miles) between Fort Bragg and Mendocino in Mendocino County.

Bisected by State Highway 1, the reserve stretches inland from the coast to Jackson State Forest, approximately three miles.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

About the park
Ecological Staircase Trail
This trail takes the visitor on a tour of the geological up drift from the coast to the Pygmy Forest two and a half mile inland. This marine terrace sequence illustrates a successional story unparalleled elsewhere in California. The composition and processes responsible for this unique ecological setting offer a diverse selection of interpretive opportunities.

Jughandle State Reserve is a special place. Few places on earth display a more complete record of ecological succession. Each of the five terraces represents one stage in a progression of successional environments. Jughandle, then, is one of the few opportunities to interpret this aspect of the coastal spectrum of ecological succession and landscape evolution.

The material base from which the terraces were fashioned is composed of a uniform body of graywacke sandstone (Bailey and Erwin 1959). Although each terrace has evolved from the same parent material, each has been weathered for different lengths of time. The soils, plants, and hydrologic associations on each terrace are affected by the degree of change the weathering has produced in the sandstone (Fox 1976 p. 5).

The structure of the terraces at Jughandle is a result of the movement of the earth's crust (plate tectonics) and the fluctuation of sea level during the Pleistocene. In the last several million years, the continent of North America has moved northwest, and the coastline along the Mendocino coast has risen slowly in relationship to the increase of the sea level brought on by the melting of the continental glaciers. These two factors are massive agents in the shaping of land forms and are rarely seen so clearly outside the desert regions of the world.

The principal sculpturing agent at Jughandle has been the sea. During periods of the Pleistocene when the glaciers were retreating northward, sea level rose more rapidly than the land was rising. As the pounding waves were uplifted onto the land, they fashioned a smooth underwater terrace. With renewal of glaciation, the waves slowly receded as the sea level fell.

Deposits of gravel and sand (beach material) were spread across the emerging terrace by the retreating waves (Jenny 1973 p. 8). Continued uplifting raised the terrace clear of subsequent rises in sea level. In this fashion, new terraces were created where older ones had existed. Terrace No. 5 (the oldest) was once at the elevation now occupied by No. 4 and so on.

This repetitive sequence proceeded at intervals of approximately 100,000 years and involved about 100 feet of uplift to form each of the terraces. The higher the terrace the older it is, and the longer its beach materials have been subjected to weathering.

Another active agent forming the land at Jug Handle has been the wind. Coastal breezes have been depositing beach material on the first terrace where the bluffs are low. Similarly, in the past the seaward edge of each terrace was covered with dune-building material that is now ancient.

Caspar Headlands -

Caspar Headland State Reserve is located on the Pacific Coast in Mendocino County approximately 4 miles north of the town of Mendocino. The reserve is shared by a residential community in Caspar South, which lies on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Bordering the reserve to the north is Caspar Beach and RV Campground, and further north the town of Caspar. State reserves have outstanding or unusual natural or scenic values. This three-acre Reserve contains a small strip of rugged coastline featured sculpted rocks, wildflowers and surf.

Drive South on Point Cabrillo Rd., past the RV Campground then turn right on Caspar Drive to Headlands Drive. Parking is outside the reserve on Caspar Drive. Access to the reserve can be arranged prior to visiting by obtaining an entry permit from the Russian River-Mendocino Sector Office.

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse -

Point Cabrillo LighthouseVisit the newly restored Point Cabrillo Lighthouse for a grandstand view of the California Gray whales during their annual migration along Mendocino’s wild and scenic coast. Whale watching, lighthouse history, unique gifts, children’s activities, tidepool exhibits, and a "Wow!" or two in store for every member of the family. Free shuttle service between Mendocino village Festival activities and the Point Cabrillo Light Station on Saturday, March 1 from 11AM-2PM. Call 800 726-2780 for more Whale Festival information.

The Preserve occupies a spectacular headland thrusting out into the Pacific. As you start to walk down the access road, the Point Cabrillo Light Station is arrayed before you, made up of the Lighthouse itself and three original lightkeepers' houses and outbuildings. The lighthouse, which has been fully restored, is open from 11 AM to 4 PM, Saturdays and Sundays, from the first weekend of March through the last weekend in October.

A great way to visit Point Cabrillo Light Station for the first time is to come for a guided walk. Guided Walks start in the parking area just off Point Cabrillo Drive. Reservations are not required, but for more information, call the Preserve office at 937-0816 or email them at

Join your guide for a leisurely stroll through the meadows and along the windswept bluffs of the 300 acre Point Cabrillo Preserve. You'll learn a little coast ecology and some Mendocino history, including the story of the "Frolic", the 1850 shipwreck that changed the north coast forever. Visit the newly restored 1909 Lighthouse, and one of the very few intact and publicly accessible light stations remaining on the Pacific Coast. There will be knowledgeable docents to answer your questions, and a gift shop with a unique array of Lighthouse books, tee shirts, and gift items for sale.

Russian Gulch -

Russian Gulch

This park is known for the heavily forested Russian Gulch Creek Canyon, a headland that features the Devil’s Punch Bowl (a large, collapsed sea cave with churning water), and a beach that offers swimming, tide pool exploring, skin diving and rock fishing. Inland, there is a 36-foot high waterfall. Hikers enjoy miles of hiking trails. The park also has a paved three-mile bicycle trail.

The park is two miles north of Mendocino on Highway 1.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

About the park
Russian Gulch State Park was acquired in 1933 through gifts of land and money by A. Johnston and the County of Mendocino to match State Park funds.

The park has a total area of 1,162 acres with 7,630 feet of ocean frontage. With its rugged headlands thrusting out into the blue Pacific, the park is thought of by many as the north coast's rival of Point Lobos.

One of the many features of the headlands is the "blow hole." Its formation was made by the incessant pounding of waves against the coastal headlands. A tunnel has been formed which comes inland about 200 feet, and at its end the earth has caved away forming a hole 100 feet across and 60 feet deep; one can look into this flower and plant-lined pit and watch the surging sea at high tide.

Russians who established Fort Ross in 1811 were probably the first white men to explore and chart this area. Later, when cartographers were sent out by U.S. Government to chart this spot was called Russian Gulch for want of a better name.

In 1852 Harry Meiggs, a San Francisco engineer and promoter, erected a sawmill at Big River. This was the start of redwood lumber industry on the Mendocino Coast.

Soon other mills were popping up in all the little inlets, or "dog holes" as they were called. Since the sea was the only means of travel, these dog holes such as Russian Gulch were regular stops for the little schooners traveling from San Francisco to Humboldt Bay. They would bring freight and passengers on the way north and pick up lumber and passengers on the way back.

This was a very dangerous operation in bad weather, and many of the little ships were lost. Some of the old iron rings used to hold the high lines that loaded lumber on the ships can be seen anchored in the rocks along the headlands.

Redwood was considered excellent material for railroad ties, and Russian Gulch produced many of the ties used on the transcontinental railroad. Shingles were also produced here . One of the first redwood shingle mills in this part of the country was built on the site where the recreation hall stands today.

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Mendocino Headlands -

The park is near picturesque downtown Mendocino. The park features grass-covered headlands and a beach, with access from the mouth of the Big River south of town. Trails are popular with hikers and joggers. In winter, the park provides a site for whale watching. The Ford Museum features weekend lectures on area wildlife.

Volunteers operate the historic Ford House on Main Street in Mendocino. Current and historic information about the area is available to Mendocino visitors, including a scale model of 1890 Mendocino. Interpretive walks, led by docents. Check times at the Ford House.

The park surrounds the town of Mendocino, just off Highway One.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

About the Park
The park, with its unique blend of gentle trails, rugged coastline, secluded beaches and timeless history surrounds the Village of Mendocino on three sides. Three miles of trails wind along the cliffs, giving the casual explorer spectacular views of sea arches and hidden grottos.

The park began operation in 1974. The original idea for the park came from the citizens of Mendocino in the late 1960's. Rumors of a planned development for the headlands brought the people together who wanted to retain the property as natural open space. Now the park land provides Mendocino with a buffer area that preserves the town's historical presence. In return, the town provides a view of a unique blend of natural, ecological, cultural and social diversity.

Visitor Activities
You might come to see the spring wildflowers, enjoy a crisp and clear fall day, escape to a cool summer climate or witness the winter migration of grey whale.

There are no camping facilities; visitors are day users only.

Activities range from hiking to surfing and from fishing to sport diving.

Big River Beach is on the south side of Mendocino. It is accessible by vehicle from Highway 1, or by trails down the bluffs. Picnickers, sun bathers and players in the surf.

Photographers and painters frequently visit various parts of Mendocino Headlands enjoying and capturing the scenic wonders.

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Friendship Park

Mendocino Friendship Park is a beautiful local baseball park a few blocks from the MacCallum House. People from ages two through adult go and play sports at the park.  The volunteers help out by maintaining the field and estate grounds, run concessions and announcing statistics and players. Everyone is welcome to come and cheer for the players, and watch for enjoyment. They would love if you come and hang out during the season! The park also has a BBQ area. Behind the baseball park there is a full playground for small children.

Mendocino High School Track

Just up the street from the MacCallum House is Mendocino High School which has 2 athletic fields with amazing ocean views. A 400 meter track surrounds the soccer field and is open to the public.

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Jackson State Forest -

Jackson State ForestEstablished in 1947, and by far California’s largest state forest, Jackson State Forest is a public
treasure. Comprising more than 50,000 acres of redwood forest in Mendocino County, it reaches from near the Pacific Coast 20 miles eastward to the ridge of the inland valleys. The city of Fort Bragg and the town of Mendocino lie two miles from its western edge. It is criss–crossed by almost 100 miles of endangered salmon streams, including Casper Creek, Hare Creek, and tributaries of the Noyo River and Big River. It is a trove of diversity, home to thousands of species, from the yellow-cheeked chipmunk to the red-legged frog, from the downy leatherwing to the spotted owl.

Photo: Garth Hagerman

Big River -

Big River

The Big River now belongs to the people of California and it is a short walk from the MacCallum House property. It was recently acquired by the Mendocino Land Trust who raised $26 million dollars in public and private funds. Big River’s watershed comprises some of the best timber ground on the planet. And the river and its estuary also are fantastically rich, a haven for 22 species of fish and 131 species of bird, including several that are rare or threatened.

Big River’s 7,400 acres of watershed and estuary was rated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as one of the top four conservation projects under its jurisdiction and so awarded $1 million towards the purchase.

Van Damme -

Van Damme

Van Damme State Park consists of 1,831 acres of beach and upland on the Mendocino Coast. Of all park system units along the Mendocino coast, Van Damme is perhaps the richest in terms of historical resources connected with the redwood lumber industry. Its story is a prime example of the struggles and eventual failures of a small, independent lumber operation.

The park is located three miles south of the town of Mendocino on Highway 1. The highway runs through the park separating the campground and the Fern Canyon trail head to the east and the beach and parking lot to the west.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

Facilities - Activities

The park features the lush Fern Canyon scenic trail system; the Pygmy Forest where mature, cone-bearing cypress and pine trees stand six inches to eight feet tall; and the bog, or Cabbage Patch, where skunk cabbage grows in abundance. The park’s ten miles of trail go along the fern-carpeted canyon of Little River. A paved road is used by joggers and bicyclists. The beach is popular with abalone divers.

Kayak Tours

Visitors can get a unique perspective of the coast line by taking the kayak tours, available through a concession agreement, at the Van Damme beach parking lot.

About the Park

Van Damme State Park was named for Charles Van Damme who was born at Little River in 1881, son of John and Louise Van Damme, early settlers of the region. John Van Damme and his wife were a Flemish couple. The patriarch of the family was born in Ostend, Belgium on May 22, 1832. "Following the sea" for some years, Van Damme, upon his arrival in Mendocino County, later worked in the lumber mill at Little River. In this settlement all of his children were born, including Charles, whose love for the area prompted his acquiring, after some years as a successful operator of the Richmond-San Rafael ferry line, a plot of ground along the redwood coast. Upon his demise this area became a part of the State Park System in 1934.

In those early days lumbering was a major economic factor in the development of the northern coastline. Little River was built as a mill town in 1864 by Ruel Stickney, Silas Coombs and Tapping Reeves after the property, formally called Kents Cove, was purchased from W. H. Kent in 1862. Before long it had attained fame, not only as a lumber port, but as a shipyard; but a stand of timber, if logged, does not last forever and by the end of the century, even though logging was periodically moved back into the headwaters of Little River, the mill was forced to close (1893).

What there was left of Little River soon deteriorated; the shipyard, the wharf, the town, several chutes for loading lumber and the lumber mill itself. Activity at the port, which once hummed with activity, declined. Little River's school, once attended by close to 100 students, closed; its weekly steamship service ended, and a shipyard where, in 1874, Captain Thomas Peterson turned out full-size lumber schooners for the coast wide trade, phased out. Only the schooner Little River returned, to be wrecked on the very beach from which it originally departed.

Plagued by a lack of sufficient timber reserves, fires, loss of substantial business, deterioration of wharf's and chutes, the end of coast wide shipping and the attendant decline in population, Little River reverted to a natural state. Its acquisition by the State Park System in 1934, and the subsequent addition of peripheral lands has preserved some of California's most interesting natural resources.

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Montgomery Woods -

Montgomery Woods State Reserve

Montgomery Woods State Reserve, in the heart of the Coast Range, has 700 acres of redwoods, where visitors can walk along one of the park’s many trails. It is an excellent example of both a magnificent coastal redwood grove and a beautiful fern forest.

Located about 15 miles east of the town of Comptche, on a hard-packed gravel road. It can also be reached over 13 miles of paved road by traveling west from Ukiah past Orr's Mineral Hot Springs resort.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

About the park

Montgomery Woods is one of the more remote of California's 31 redwood parks. It is a perfect place for a picnic, and tables are provided for that purpose.

A trail follows Montgomery Creek upstream to five separate redwood groves that have never been logged. The trail is about three miles long, laid out in a shallow loop that takes about an hour to travel.

The redwoods you will see here, while walking the trail, are among the two main species of redwoods in the Western United States.

The Sierra Redwood (Sequoia gigantea) also called Big Tree, is both older and more massive but rarely attains the heights of its coastal relative. The Sierra redwood grows at higher elevations, which is why it can be found in the Sierra mountain ranges.

The taller Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) grows along the California coast into Southern Oregon in an area about 500 miles long by 20 or 30 miles wide.

The Coastal redwood favors moderate temperature with lots of moisture. They fare especially well in areas of heavy fog, where the soil rarely dries completely. The coastal redwood is the tallest tree on earth, measuring up to 370 feet in height. The Coast Redwood grows best on river flats and stream junctions, where they receive a rich supply of alluvial soil, or silt, deposited there by flood waters.

The reserve started with a nine-acre donation by Robert Orr in 1945, and has been enlarged to 1,142 acres by purchases and donations from the Save-The-Redwoods League.


Catch a Canoe

Catch a Canoe

We recommend renting Canoes from the long established Catch a Canoe at the mouth of the Big River in Mendocino. The river is ranked a Class 1, gentle river, suitable for the novice. Our helpful innkeepers can help you with a reservation when you arrive as the river trips are very subject to the tidal conditions.

Big River is protected and is the only major undeveloped navigable estuary remaining in Northern California and is only minutes away from the MacCallum House.   Unlike the undeveloped portions of other rivers Big River is accessible. Here you find no need for rubber rafts or special paddling talents to experience Big River's forested canyons, swimming holes and wildlife.

In addition to canoes you can rent outrigger or ocean kayaks, Catch a Canoe is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day -
9:00/9:30 to 5:30/sunset. Please call for additional details and pricing.

Lost Coast Kayaking

Mendocino Sea-Cave Tours

Our innkeeper can arrange a 2-hour guided sea cave tour. You will leave Van Damme State Park just south of the MacCallum House at 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Lost Coast Kayaking will provide all necessary equipment including: wetsuit, booties, life jacket & helmet.

The equipment used in these services includes kayaks by Ocean Kayak Inc., NRS Wetsuits, ProTech helmets, and Kokatat Splash Jackets.

What to Bring: You need to wear only bathing suit and a t-shirt or sweat-shirt.

Tours are $45 per person.

If you would like to make your own reservations call: (707) 937-2434 and let them know you are staying at the MacCallum House.

Reservations or Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Sub-Surface Progression Dive ShopSub-Surface Progression Dive Shop
Providing Abalone Diving Rentals and SCUBA Gear

Complete Dive Center and Surf Shop offering:

Abalone Diving Equipment Sales and Rentals
SCUBA Diving Gear Sales and Rentals
Kayak Sales and Rentals
Surfboards Sales and Rentals
Local Diving Locations and Dive advice
for Abalone and SCUBA Diving
18600 N Highway 1
Fort Bragg, CA 95437


Just five minutes from the MacCallum House in Little River is a beautiful golf course set among noble redwoods with some tee shots affording spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Little River Inn Golf Course offers a wonderful golf experience for golfers of all skill levels. Included in the facility are a driving range, putting green, and two lighted cement tennis courts.  Please contact the innkeeper to schedule a tee time. Motor carts, pull carts, golf clubs, and tennis rackets are available for rent.

Par 71 — Rating 67.6 — Slope 120


9 holes are $20.00
18 holes are $30.00

Weekends & Holidays

9 holes are $25.00
18 holes are $35.00

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Each guest of the MacCallum House is treated to a complimentary pass good for one visit to the Redwood Health Club. The Redwood Health Club is located 15 minutes north at 401 Cypress Street in Fort Bragg where you can enjoy group fitness classes, yoga and pilates, tennis and racquetball courts, Nautilus equipment, free weights, dry saunas and steam rooms, a large indoor lap pool and Jacuzzi, cardiovascular equipment, and even child care. Personal training, tennis lessons with a Tennis Pro, and massage are also available by appointment. To receive your complimentary pass, please see an innkeeper at any time during your stay with us.

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