Accessible For Your Convenience
Van Damme State Park
Pygmy Forest Trailhead: Parking lot off Airport Road Length: Less than .5 mile Typical Width: 4 ft. & above Typical Grade: Level Terrain: Hard Obstacles: A fresh layer of large rocks at the Trail Fire Service Road trailhead by the parking lot may be challenging for those in manual wheelchairs. This short 300-yard loop boardwalk is at Van Damme's eastern end, some two miles inland from Highway One. What at first glance may not seem impressive—skinny, dwarfed trees, washed-out and dull-looking against the ever-present fog—soon inspires awe. Interpretive panels throughout tell how the forces of nature (poor acidic topsoil and hardpan ) have stunted trees over the... view full description Fern Canyon Trailhead: Foot of park entry road Length: Over 4 total miles Typical Width: 4 ft. & above Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle Several of the bridges have a two- to three-inch transition that may be problematic for some wheelchairs. Terrain: Firm Obstacles: At most bridge thresholds, erosion has left two- to three-inch transitions at both ends. The worst is at the ninth bridge where the path at the threshold has narrowed to less than 30 inches. After that bridge, a fallen tree narrows the trail and requires careful navigation. There are no restrooms at either trail. Fern Canyon Trail is an abandoned logging skid once used to haul timber by ox team to a lumber mill at the mouth of Little River. The lush trail extends along Little River through Fern Canyon, named for the abundant ferns thriving here: five-ﬁnger, bird’s-foot, lady, licorice, stamp, sword, and deer. At times you can see the river Accessibility Details The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted: Accessible Visitor Center: Yes The small visitor center at the campground has limited hours and was closed on my visit. Beach Wheelchair: Yes Request 48 hours in advance; call (707) 937-5804 Accessible Parking: Yes At visitor center, by accessible restroom at campground, Pygmy Forest, and beach; may be covered in sand. There is no designated accessible space at Fern Canyon trailhead, but the small lot is paved. Accessible Restroom: Yes The only accessible restroom is in the campground, adjacent to campsite 11 Other Things of Interest Kayak Mendocino rents kayaks at Van Damme's beach, where they can be launched from a level spot. A few miles north of Van Damme is Big River Beach (part of Mendocino Headlands State Park), which extends along the north bank of Big River on both sides of Highway One. Here you'll find level access to a broad sandy beach on the east side of the highway. The large parking lot has no designated accessible parking. At the west end is an accessible portable restroom, although the sandy path to it may be problematic for some wheelchairs.