What do oceans, huge trees, trains, and beautiful trash have in common? These are all things that can be found in Fort Bragg, CA. Not to be confused with the Fort Bragg army base located in North Carolina, which we have also visited when our son was serving. That Fort Bragg has just been renamed Fort Liberty, by the way.
Back to Fort Bragg, CA.
Skunk Train Rail Bikes
One of the things we were most looking forward to was riding the rail bikes into the redwoods and getting to bring Rizzo along in her own personal ride.
The Skunk Train was originally built to support the logging industry back in 1885.
The bikes are electric powered so you don’t have to have any athletic ability. You can choose to turn off the electric and get a good workout though.
Our trip took us about 30 minutes into the forest where we got off and were able to take an optional 1 mile loop trail hike. And then ride another 30 minutes back.
Our guide shared some interesting facts like how lumberjacks discovered that redwood bark is pretty fire resistant but the inside wood is not. So they would burn out the trees to provide shelter and storage deep in the woods. Some of these were large enough to house an entire family.
And, in honor of my college alma mater mascot, the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks, there’s no better song for this post than Monty Python’s Lumberjack Song!
We also learned about Wood Sorrel, an edible plant that tastes a little like green apple. Yep, I tried it!
Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Museum
After the rail bikes, we took a tour of the little model train museum. I’ve always loved these and Jeff says that is what he wants his hobby to be when he retires.
Noyo Headlands Trail
This part of the coast was part of lumber mill property for over a century and inaccessible to the public. However, in recent years, it’s been turned into part of the California Coastal Trail system. It’s dog friendly and has tons of educational panels and view points along the path.
A popular part of the Noyo Headlands Trail is glass beach, or rather beaches. There are technically three. The first one is the most easily accessible and also the most picked over. You’ll see more beautiful sea shells here than actual glass.
The third is only accessible by very low tides or kayak.
So that leaves the second beach. This one requires a little ability to descend an dirt cliff but the reward is so worth it. From above, the beach appears to be covered in white sea shells. It’s only once you descend that you realize those “sea shells” are actually small pieces of sea worn glass.
Almost 100 years ago, this area was used as a garbage dump site. It wasn’t closed until1959. Over the decades, the ocean waves have broken and battered the bottles and pottery into the beautiful glass seen here.
Some people love sandy beaches designed for swimming and soaking up the sun. Me? I love the ocean views with sheer cliffs and stunning vistas. What do you prefer?
The RV Park – Park Name
Harbor RV Park is located right along the coastal trail providing lots of great views and dog friendly walks. You do get a smidge of an ocean view, if you climb on top of your rig, but it’s close enough.
The park is located next to Noyo River Harbor. The first day we arrived, there was a very loud and obnoxious fog horn blowing into the late hours. Fortunately, it eventually quieted down and was hardly noticeable for the rest of our stay.
Miles hiked at this stop – 13
Animal Sightings to date – 5
We can add two more on this trip. The source of Rizzo’s entertainment, aka the common squirrel who loves to taunt her endlessly.
And a distant sighting of a couple of seals hanging out off glass beach.