During our recent visit to Mendocino County, we had a ton of fun adventures we couldn’t find anywhere else! Not only is it a perfect place for family fun, the location provides a variety of exciting outdoor activities that are perfect for tapping into your inner explorer. Check out some of our favorites!
An hour east toward the redwoods is one of Mendocino County’s most unique attractions – a skunk! But not just any skunk. This skunk is 131 years old and draws in tourists from all over world! Welcome aboard the Skunk Train. This locomotive has been taking passengers on a majestic ride through the redwood forest since the year 1885, when it started as a logging railroad.
The California Western Railroad not only helped transport redwood logs to and from sawmills, but also transported people, a tradition which continues to this day. The Skunk Line stretches 40 miles, passing through deep tunnels and over some very scenic bridges. Stepping foot on this train will make you feel like you hopped in a time machine. As far as family fun goes, there is no doubt that kids will love this historic locomotive and learning what it’s like to be an engineer. An added bonus? It’s dog-friendly – so you really can bring the entire family along!
Drive Through Tree
It’s not often that a tree becomes so famous that it reaches “icon” status, but that’s the case in Leggett, California. The area is home to a redwood tree you can actually drive through. Many fans refer to it as “the chandelier tree”. The property the tree stands on was purchased by the notable Underwood family in the 1920’s, and an opening was cut into the tree in 1937. This is one of only three trees you are able to drive through in the country.
The tree is 315 feet high and is more than two thousand years old. Though it is ginormous, it is a bit of a tight squeeze for you inside a car – which adds to the excitement. If you opt to drive through the rest of the area, though, you’ll see nothing but wide open scenic spaces that are perfect for hiking, picnicking and playing. At just $5 a car, it’s a great activity for the entire family.
Located in MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg, Glass Beach is named for the beautiful iridescent glass pieces that cover shores of the natural area. The origins of the beautiful beach date back to the 1960’s – up until then, many residents dumped trash into the ocean here. However, efforts were made between the late 90’s and early 00’s to transform and clean up the area. Continual dumping caused shards to accumulate from appliances, trash and other items, which were smoothed over by years and years of ocean waves. What’s left is a beach full of gorgeous colored pebbles that attract tens of thousands of tourists every year!