The Northern California coast has a lot to offer visitors, especially in the spring. Whether you are interested in seal watching, hiking or spending time at the beach, you can find it here. Only three miles north of Fort Bragg is MacKerricher State Park. Located right on the coast, this park brings forests, wetlands, dunes, bluffs and the beach all together in one place for you to enjoy.
Upon arrival you can follow the Laguna Point Boardwalk for the best views that the park, and northern California, have to offer. On the ocean-side of the boardwalk, you can see the rocky, wavy coast stretch for miles. And year-round there is a seal watching station for visitors that want to catch a glimpse of seals and their pups in a natural habitat.
However in the spring, visitors have the added benefit of seeing humpback and gray whales. Breaching every hundred yards or so, these whales make their annual migration right past Laguna Point and its boardwalk. As you continue through the grasslands of the park’s interior, a 1.3-mile loop of the trail surrounds Lake Cleone, a perfect place for a picnic, complete with fire pits and grill.
This freshwater lake, which provides beautiful views of water and greenery, used to be a tidal lagoon. Today, it is the home or pit stop of more than 90 different species of birds. Keep an eye out while you rest at Lake Cleone for birds you may have never seen before that are only found in Northern California. After a stop at the lake, head north within MacKerricher State Park, to find Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dune Preserve.
The dunes, which might appear desolate and isolated upon first glance, provide the perfect environment for unique eco-systems. Untouched (not unaffected) by human development, these habitats can sustain species of wildlife that are threatened or even currently endangered. Visitors are encouraged to walk along the beach admiring the dunes rather than walking on and through the places where sensitive species are trying to survive.
Springtime in Northern California brings with it endless nature and wildlife to visitors. From tiny insects to huge humpback whales, explorers can experience it all season long. Quality walking or hiking are a must as the terrain changes between wooden boardwalk, a sandy beach and grass paths. The second most important thing to bring along is your camera. The views and elements of spring along the Northern Coast of California should be captured to maintain memories for years.