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Van Damme State Park

Hwy 1, Mendocino, CA 95430
707-937-5804
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89%
Ranked #7 of 13 Attractions in Mendocino
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Beaches, State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Fishing, Hiking
Owner description: Picturesque spot known for its Pygmy Forest of small trees and Fern Canyon.
Attraction details
Type: Beaches, State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Fishing, Hiking
Owner description: Picturesque spot known for its Pygmy Forest of small trees and Fern Canyon.

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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    48
    21
    8
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
44 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

Hike to the top. The petrified forest is a must see. This is our second time and worth every step of the climb.

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encinitas, CA
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
30 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

We hiked 6 miles from the top of the park to the ocean. We travelled through forests laid down in terraces millions of years ago! The Pygmy Forest was well signed with information about the geologic history, flora and fauna. As we progressed down to the sea we passed through glorious redwoods and ferns and creeks and hundreds of mushrooms!

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Oakland, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014

Went on Fern Canyon trail--went 5 miles round trip, level, lovely, stream nearby. The canyon was charming. You could see lots of interesting mushrooms and rings of redwood trees that have grown around the stumps of older trees that were logged.

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Escondido CA
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
22 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

The on line reviews and list of amenities made this campground a toss up with MacKerricher for our one night stop, but we chose this because it said it had a laundry. Maybe next time we'll try MacKerricher. All things considered, we had just finished a tiring drive down Hwy 1 from Leggett and we arrived after dark. Add to... More 

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Homer, Alaska
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

The hiking is easy and gorgeous and in addition to the drive-in campsites, there are some beautiful walk-in sites about 1 1/2 miles down the trail. It's a nice way to see some beautiful coastal forest.

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San Diego
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
22 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014

... and we barely did. On the next visit, we'll hike to the Pygmy Forest (or walk back, and drive to the forest). Round trip to the Pygmy Forest from the parking lot is 12 miles. The next day, we'd kayak. But on this visit, we "had to" limit our hike to 2 hours. We woke up in Mendocino, spent... More 

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San Anselmo, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2014

The park was not crowded, so we really enjoyed the peace and quiet. Weather was a balmy 76 degrees so our hike to the south end of the park was most enjoyable. We hiked from Van Damm entrance to Pygmy Forest and back which was just a little over 10 miles, with creeks and fern forests in a perfect setting.... More 

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Sacramento, CA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

We drove through this park. The campsites here are much nicer than at Russian Gulch State Park, and it too has a Fern Trail. Outside of the park and across the road is beach access where you can snorkel, dive and rent kayaks.

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obr2000
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
6 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014

Have been there on weekday and therefore had the trail almost to ourself. If you approach the little river (creek)carefully you can spot some small trouts

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Mill Valley, California
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
33 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

We enjoyed a long, easy walk beside a babbling brook, with trees towering up the canyon hillsides, and the sun dappling the fern leaves.

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