Description - Van Damme State Park consists of 1,831 acres of beach and upland on the Mendocino Coast. Of all park system units along the Mendocino coast, Van Damme is perhaps the richest in terms of historical resources connected with the redwood lumber industry. Its story is a prime example of the struggles and eventual failures of a small, independent lumber operation.
Copyright: - California State Parks
Lush green vegetation in Van Damme SP
- The park features the lush Fern Canyon scenic trail system; the Pygmy Forest where mature, cone-bearing cypress and pine trees stand six inches to eight feet tall; and the bog, or Cabbage Patch, where skunk cabbage grows in abundance. The park's ten miles of trail go along the fern-carpeted canyon of Little River. A paved road is used by joggers and bicyclists. The beach is popular with abalone divers.
Recreation - Van Damme State Park offers opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, fishing, viewing nature, educational programs and exhibits and abalone diving.
Visitors can get a unique perspective of the coast line by taking the kayak tours, available through a concession agreement, at the Van Damme beach parking lot.
Climate - Summers are generally mild. Fog is often encountered near the coastline, with sunny, warmer weather more common inland in the foothills. Winters are generally cool with considerable precipitation. Wear layers of clothing to accommodate cool to warm temperatures and good walking shoes. Rain protection should be included at any time of year.
The park is three miles south of Mendocino on Highway 1. The highway runs through the park separating the campground and the Fern Canyon trail head to the east and the beach and parking lot to the west.