Navarro River Redwoods

Park Brochure

brochure Navarro River Redwoods - Park Brochure
Navarro River Redwoods State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Wind through Anderson Valley’s grapevines and oak woodlands into the towering trees of Navarro River Redwoods State Park along the sparkling river. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 937-5804. This publication can be made available in alternate formats. Contact or call (916) 654-2249. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369. (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Discover the many states of California.™ Navarro River Redwoods State Park Highway 128, two miles east of Hwy. 1 Albion, CA 95410 (707) 937-5804 © 2011 California State Parks O n the highway to Navarro River Redwoods State Park, the rolling hills of the Anderson Valley drop you, unsuspecting, into a long, shady tunnel of magnificent second-growth redwood groves. Twisting two-lane Highway 128 runs through the park and parallels the Navarro River’s north bank. The park’s 660 acres lie along a 14-mile contiguous river corridor, preserving an intricately connected web of aquatic and terrestrial plants and wildlife. PARK HISTORY Native People The Pomo people occupied much of what is now Mendocino County for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in California. Some indigenous Pomo people lived in a narrow strip along today’s Navarro River, but most lived inland, east of the “redwood belt.” The Mitom Pomo inhabited an area near today’s town of Willits called Little Lake Valley. The Mitom Pomo traded with the Mato Pomo, who lived north of the Noyo River. The Mato Pomo had access to obsidian for making tools such as scrapers, arrowheads and spearheads. The Navarro area provided well for the Mitom Pomo. Plant foods, fish, shellfish and game animals were plentiful. Grasses, roots and other vegetation provided materials to create magnificent Pomo baskets, now gracing museum collections the world over. Navarro Beach at the mouth of the Navarro River Steelhead trout In June 1857, the Mitom Pomo were sent to a newly opened reservation (now the town of Fort Bragg). The reservation lasted less than ten years. During this time, the native population was drastically reduced by disease, loss of land and food resources, and the hostility of European settlers. NATURAL HISTORY Beginning in the 1850s, heavy logging by the lumber and sawmill trade devastated the area’s old-growth redwoods. In 1987, the Save the Redwoods League purchased this fragmented riverfront acreage to link its open spaces and then donated it to the State. These second-growth redwoods—sprouted from the cut stumps of the original trees— grew rapidly in height and girth where the Navarro’s floodwaters nourished their growth. Sedges, used as basket material by the Mitom Pomo, line the channel banks. Redwood sorrel blankets the forest floor with heart-shaped leaflets and pink flowers in the spring. Dense stands of western sword ferns, salal and wild huckleberry add to the riverfront beauty. The mouth of the Navarro River mingles fresh water and salty ocean water to support a great variety of wildlife, including harbor seals, river otters and California sea lions. Mountain lions may be spotted at dusk or dawn seeking a resident raccoon or a black-tailed deer. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES The park is far enough inland to have warm summers and cool, wet winters. Occasionally the river overflows in winter, inundating the beach and campgrounds. Water Activities—Swimming and wading are popular in summer. In winter and spring, kayakers and canoeists enjoy the peace and quiet of the river and ocean. Camping—At Paul M. Dimmick Campground, 26 sites sit in a redwood grove near the river. Ten primitive sites at Navarro Beach Campground have chemical toilets with no running water. Camping is first-come, firstserved, with no reservations. Fishing—Steelhead fishing along the Navarro River is excellent during the months when fishing Captain Fletcher’s Inn Captain Fletcher’s Inn Captain Charles Fletcher became the first European settler in the town of Navarro at the mouth of the Navarro River. Fletcher built an inn in the early 1860s with San Franciscans Thomas and James Kennedy. Captain Fletcher’s Inn housed sailors waiting for lumber ships to be loaded and unloaded at the Navarro Mill. Later, Fletcher and James Kennedy established Mendocino’s first ship-building enterprise, constructing schooners to haul logs from the Mendocino coast. The inn later became a stagecoach stop, a home for unmarried lumber mill hands, and a fishing resort. In 1996, California State Parks purchased the inn and has been working with the Navarro-by-the-Sea Center to raise funds to restore Captain Fletcher’s Inn. Photo courtesy of Bryan Luciani Belted kingfishers, grebes, mergansers, buffleheads, egrets and herons feed in and along the river, while airborne raptors such as osprey and red-tailed hawks circle the skies looking for food. Paul M. Dimmick campground is allowed. Barbless hooks must be used; catch-and-release rules apply much of the year. A valid California fishing license with a steelhead card is required for anglers 16 and over. Visit for all current fishing regulations. PLEASE REMEMBER • All natural and cultural park features are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed. • Pets must be under immediate physical control at all times. Dogs must be on a leash no more than six feet long and confined in a tent or vehicle at night. • Fires—Use only fire facilities provided in the park. Portable stoves may be permitted in designated areas. Do not gather dead or down wood for campfires. • Recreational Vehicles (RVs)—Large RVs and trailers over 28 feet are not recommended on the narrow, curving campground road. Most parking spaces will accommodate RVs up to 28 feet long. • Hunting, loaded firearms and fireworks are prohibited. • Dispose of all trash in the receptacles provided; keep your campsite clean, and do not feed or leave food out for wildlife. • Quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Do not operate generators between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. Noise should never be audible beyond your campsite. • Speed limit in the park is 15 mph. • Stay on established trails to avoid encountering poison oak. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES Accessibility is continually improving throughout state parks, but currently no features at Navarro River Redwoods are wheelchair accessible. For updates, visit NEARBY STATE PARKS • Hendy Woods State Park, 18599 Philo-Greenwood Road, Philo 95466 (707) 937-5804 or (707) 895-3141 • Van Damme State Park, Highway 1, Little River 95456 (707) 937-0851 or (707) 937-5804 This park receives support in part through a nonprofit association. For information, contact: Mendocino Area Parks Association PO Box 1387, Mendocino, CA 95460 (707) 937-4700 •

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