Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail


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Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Mendocino
Length: 4.5 miles
Trail end points: Dead end of Glass Beach Dr, 0.4 mile north of W. Elm St (Fort Bragg) and Pomo Bluffs Park at the dead end of Cliff Way, 0.1 mile north of Ocean View Dr (Fort Bragg)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 10754524

Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail Description

The Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail runs alongside the magnificent coastal cliffs of Fort Bragg, offering locals and visitors alike the chance to recreate on land that had been reserved for industrial use for over a hundred years. The trail is also sometimes called the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail or the Ka Kahleh Coastal Trail. "Ka Kahleh" comes from the Pomo language, meaning "White Water." The trail offers stunning views and a variety of outdoor experiences.

Located west of downtown Fort Bragg, the Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail transformed this former Georgia Pacific Railway mill site into a place for enjoying expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. The paved 4.5-mile pathway provides dawn-to-dusk access to the area’s rugged clifftops and beaches. If you time it right, you might even see whales migrating during your excursion. It’s also one of the newest segments of the California Coastal Trail, a network of bicycling and hiking trails that, when complete, will stretch along the coastline for 1,230 miles from Oregon to the Mexican border.

From the trail’s north end and visit the historical Pudding Creek Trestle spanning just over 500 feet across a beach. For more than a century, Fort Bragg was known for its sawmills until the last of them closed in 2002. Railroads were used to speed up the logging process, and the route of the Ten Mile Railroad, completed in 1916, included the Pudding Creek Trestle. At the bridge, the trail connects to the MacKerricher Haul Road Trail, which follows the former timber-hauling rail line north along the coastline and reaches MacKerricher State Park.

Head south from the bridge to experience the Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail. In 0.5 mile, you’ll reach the parking lot for Glass Beach, named for the small pieces of smoothed glass that cover the sand. Continuing your journey along the coast, you’ll find a scenic overlook in 0.7 mile with a compass rose artwork set into the ground. Another 1.1 miles will bring you to the Crow’s Nest Interpretive Center, which offers a tidepool aquarium and marine mammal exhibits. After 2.2 miles, you’ll arrive at the 25-acre Pomo Bluffs Park and the end of the trail.

There are several restrooms along the path, including an artistically tiled facility that includes a bike repair station, located near the trail’s midpoint. Local artisans have also created a variety of unique benches.

Interpretative panels along the path educate visitors on environmental and historical topics. The many footpaths to the bluffs allow for close-up encounters with wildflowers and the captivating terrain. Along this route, keep an eye out for endangered flowers that inhabit the area: the bright-yellow Point Reyes blenno-sperma, the fiery-red Mendocino Coast paintbrush, and the white-blossomed Howell’s spineflower.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available in Pomo Bluffs Park off of Cliff Way at the southern end of the trail, in Noyo Headlands Park off of Cypress Street, and at the trail's northern end on Glass Beach Drive. Restrooms are available at each of those locations, as well as at the Crow's Nest Interpretive Center during operating hours.

View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail Reviews

Stunning cliff-side trail

I'm obsessed with this trail - its makes for a spectacular bike ride along the Pacific ocean. Currently whales are spouting off-shore, some flowers blooming, lots of birds, the beaches are mostly empty. I like to start from the parking lot at Cypress St. and go north, continuing on to the 10-Mile Beach trail. Currently the connection through McKerricher is flooded, so unless you walk bikes across the beach there one can't get all the way to 10 Mile beach. Hopefully that will re-open later in the spring. Trail is easy biking - feels like flying. Afterwards I like to go down to Princess Seafood in Noyo harbor for beer and some grilled fish on their patio.

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