Jug Handle State Natural Reserve is located on the Mendocino coast. The park features a 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase which explores five wave-cut terraces formed by glacier, sea and tectonic activity that built the coast range. Each of the terraces was uplifted from sea level about 100,000 years before the one below it. Plants on each terrace represent a more advanced stage in succession, indicating what the previous, next lower terrace may look like in 100,000 years. The lowest terrace consists of prairie; the second is covered with pines; the third supports a unique pigmy forest with knee-high trees possibly several decades old.

Very sweet little trail that takes you through several different plant communities we enjoyed the walk

Super easy and accessible trail. Gorgeous views and well worth the hike.

lovely trail, especially on an overcast day. there were no trail guides at the parking lot, a shame since it's interesting to learn about the geology, ecosystems, and botany you're passing through. pay attention to your route so you can find your way back...

Variety of beautiful views, beach, tropical, soaring redwoods and the open Pygmy forest at the top. Trail a little confusing at times and that added a little adventure and fun.

11 months ago

Very pleasant walking path, it get a bit close to the cliff edge in some spots but you can get off the trail to walk a little further from the edge.

11 months ago

pretty trail along beach and redwoods finished at around 6 miles

hi! great looking trail.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Super easy hike, right from our campsite at Jug Handle Creek Farm to the ocean.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A stunning hike. If you are not familiar with the area grab one of the informational pamphlets and take yourself on a tour! I did the entire trail which includes the coastal path. You do not want to miss that part!

Monday, July 18, 2016

This is a beautiful trail. Well kept up. It is pretty level the whole way until you head down to the ocean. Very accessible for children young and old (not stroller accessible for the most part). Ok to take you dog on leash only unless signs state otherwise. You'll love it!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Beautiful, secluded beach perfect for off the leash fun with a pup

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beautiful! An easy trail that showcases the many micro climate ecologies of the Mendocino coast

Monday, August 31, 2015

Easy walk/hike. Make sure you pick up the pamphlet that takes you through the ecological staircase. There are markers along the way.

Friday, October 03, 2014

I run this trail monthly. I enjoy encountering hikers. It's 7 ish miles round trip from the parking lot through the staircase to Mitchell Creek gate and back again. You know, up one way means fun all the way back!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Great trail through the woods and around the ocean.

nature trips
Monday, January 14, 2013

As others have said an impressive range of environments from sea shore, through Shore pine and cypress, redwoods and firs to pigmy forest. I have hiked portions of this for the last two years because it can be accessed from Mitchell Creek Rd. and Gibney Ln as well as from the actual park. In Oct. through December it is a great place to see a wide variety of mushrooms.

It is a very easy trail, fairly well marked and a little too busy for me. I prefer a little more solitude.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This trail is one of the best I've ever hiked. It has an amazing variety of environments: make sure not to miss the extra loop at the beginning, it leads you through a forest of trees bent by the wind. The pygmy forest is very impressive.

6 months ago

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