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“Great for Abalone Diving” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park
Hwy 1, Mendocino, CA 95430
707-937-5804
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Ranked #7 of 13 Attractions in Mendocino
Type: Beaches, State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Fishing, Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Picturesque spot known for its Pygmy Forest of small trees and Fern Canyon.
Seattle
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Great for Abalone Diving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

Van Damme is one of the many beautiful beaches and parks along the California coast worth stopping at. There is a great forest to trail through with picnic areas and camping spots, but what I love the most is the beach front. The beach access is easy and there are plenty of parking spaces. It is a great place for people of all age ranges and a beautiful spot to swim and enjoy the views.

If you walk along the beach, you will find lots of broken and full pieces of Abalone shells. Our family comes to the Mendocino/Albion coast to Abalone dive every year. Van Damme is definitely a popular spot, because it has lots of great rocks for the Abalone to attach, plus allows easy access into the water from the beach. Our guys have dove in spots where they have to climb down some of the coastal cliffs just to look for legal size Abalone, but not here. Van Damme is a safe area for divers and swimmers, as long as you don't venture out too far where all the huge waves start breaking.

Visited May 2012
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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Oakland, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Pygmies and ferns”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

The Pygmy Forest short (boardwalk) trail begins just past the airport (south of the park entrance). Fees are not collected here. The trees are hundreds of years old but barely six feet high. It's eerie (but we swear the trail wasn't a boardwalk forty years ago).

Fern Trail puts you on a track with redwoods reaching to the sky and ferns taller than the tallest basketball player.

Day use fee is $8.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseville, California
2 reviews
“coastal camping trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Beautiful and lush. we stayed in one of the tent only spots near the fern canyon trail. I've been coming here for years, but it had been awhile. I would recommend the hike down fern canyon trail to the Pygmy Forest. It's not a short walk, but it's worth it.

Visited August 2012
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Lakeport, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great Mushroom Walk!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We loved the walk through the redwoods. It just happened to be a couple of days after a light rain. Millions of mushrooms everywhere - the air was so fresh! Just a reminder DO NOT pick the mushrooms - they are for viewing not eating! :)

Visited November 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonora, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

I highly recommend camping here. It's beautiful and clean. The trail in the forest is amazing, wish we could have spent more than one night here. I would come back. The fire pits could use some help they were full and the grates were in pretty bad shape but all in all we really enjoyed our stay.

Visited July 2012
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