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
Big River was named not for the size of the river, but rather for the towering redwoods trees that used to line it's banks. Sadly, this once pristine landscape was dammed and logged extensively in the latter part of the 1800s and throughout the 1900s. In 2001, the property was listed for sale and the Mendocino Land Trust played a leading roll in raising millions of dollars to buy the watershed and convey the property to State Parks. 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.