MENDOCINO CO., 12/28/17 — There’s an old tradition that what you do on New Year’s day will set the tone for the rest of the year. Whether you want to start a new hiking habit, or you just need some fresh air after the evening’s celebrations, consider getting outside and taking a New Year’s Day hike. There are a variety of “First Day” hikes happening in state parks, as well as the annual Ukiah Valley Trail Group hike taking place at Low Gap Park, plus plenty of beautiful places around the county to go explore.
The details for the organized New Year’s hikes are listed below. Last New Year’s, we also put together a list of hiking resource around Mendocino for those that want to strike out on their own, you can check that out here. Let us know if we missed anything and we’ll add it to the list!
10am on New Year’s Day, meet at the tennis courts at Low Gap Park. From the newsletter: “It’s time for our seventy-eleventh annual New Year’s Day Hike! We’re going to keep doing this thing until we get it right! There will be a couple of route options ( ~3 miles; ~4.5 miles). Bring some snacks to share.”
State Parks “First Day Hikes“: These are taking place around the country, so check here if you want to see hikes outside Mendocino County.
Old Growth Forest Walk: Walk through the magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Learn about the plants and animals that make up the redwood forest ecosystem. Stand next to a tree the height of a skyscraper building. Meet at day use picnic area parking lot at 1 p.m. for this two-hour hike. This hike is for people of all ages along 2 miles of mostly flat trails. Bring water and a snack. Wear layered clothing. Be prepared for a muddy trail. More information 707-375-7004.
Laguna Point Boardwalk: Learn about the annual gray whale migration and look for whales offshore. Then drive to Laguna Point and walk on boardwalk to ocean overlook. Binoculars will be available to help visitors study whales and other fascinating wildlife found near MacKerricher shores. Meet park interpreter Fred Andrews at park visitor center at 11 a.m. The hike is wheelchair accessible. Young children are welcome on this program. More information 707-961-0471
Mendocino Headlands State Park:
Headlands Trail: Meet the docent at the Ford House Visitor Center in Mendocino at 1:00 p.m. Walk out to the Mendocino Headlands to look for gray whales. Learn about the annual migration of gray whales. There will be a discussion on the history of Mendocino as we walk along the trail. This is an easy 1-mileChildren of all ages welcome. Dogs permitted on leash. Rain will cancel this event. Wear layered clothing. Bring binoculars, water and a camera. For more information call (707) 937-5397.
Waterfall Hike: This will be a moderate to strenuous 5.5 mile out and back hike (2.75 miles each way) to the beautiful waterfall at Russian Gulch. You will learn about the park’s natural history from Dave Jensen, birder and naturalist. Meet at the park’s recreation hall at 12 p.m. This hike is suggested for children 10 years and older, and adults. Bring water, snacks, hat and binoculars with you. No dogs are allowed on the trail for this hike. More information 707- 961-0471.
Bluff Trail:The hike goes downhill through the Spring Ranch property to bluffs overlooking the ocean to look for migrating gray whales. Learn about the annual migration of gray whales between Alaska and Baja. After looking for whales, you will retrace your path uphill to the dirt parking lot. One section of the dirt path is very steep. Meet the docent at Highway 1 and Gordon Lane at 10 a.m. The dirt parking lot is about 2 miles north of Little River, California, on Highway 1. This hike is suggested for children 10 years and older, and adults. Bring binoculars, water and a snack. Wear layered clothing and bring rain gear. More information 707-937-5397.
Mendo Voice’s List of Hiking Resources – let us know if you have something to add!