Big River Trail
In 2002, Mendocino Land Trust completed the purchase and transfer of 7,334 acres around Big River to State Parks. This includes a wonderful haul road that travels about 10 miles east to connect Big River Beach with Mendocino Woodlands State Park. Much of this haul road is multi-use and available to equestrians, bikers, hikers, runners, and people in wheelchairs. Along its length, there are lovely views of Big River estuary, which hosts birds, seals, otters, and other wildlife. It is a wonderful trail where you can walk side-by-side with friends and family, enjoying the quiet beauty of the Mendocino Coast.
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Trail Latitude (X): 39.303
Trail Longitude (Y): -123.785
Mapping: View vicinity on Google Maps (see Trail Map above or Trail Data Sheet PDF under the Information tab for a more precise map)
Highway One Mile Marker (north end): 50.56
Highway One Mile Marker (south end): 50
Trail Length: 10 miles
There’s much human history here; Big River was dammed and logged extensively in the latter part of the 1800s and throughout the 1900s. Today, Mendocino Land Trust and California State Parks collaborate to complete watershed restoration projects that improve fish and wildlife habitat here, as well as remediate some of the damage done by past logging. There are many interpretive panels along the haul road and a lovely bench dedicated to the memory of Matthew Coleman, who coordinated stewardship of Big River as part of his work at the Mendocino Land Trust.