Mendocino Coast | Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park | Introduction

Van Damme State Park is one of the three major state parks on the Mendocino Coast, just south of the town of Mendocino, in Northern California. The park's name comes from Charles Van Damme, a wealthy San Francisco businessman of Belgian descent, who purchased 40 acres of nearby timberland after a successful business career and made it available to the general public for recreational use.

It's about a three-hour drive from the Bay Area.Other attractions near MendocinoThis is one of the two to three day trips that you can plan together. Visitors to Mendocino usually go hiking in the park's Fern Canyon, and Van Damme State Park is roughly along an east-west river that flows into the ocean called the Little River, surrounded by pine, cypress, and chaparral, with a beach at the park's entrance, making it a great spot for camping. The beach is right in front of the park, making it a great place for camping.

Find a stay in Mendocino:

Van Damme State Park 1

Camp Environment

  • Comfort: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Space: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Facility Cleanliness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Convenience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This park is great if you are a camping enthusiast who wants to visit Mendocino. It's only a few minutes away from the town of Mendocino, so it's easy to go out for dinner. We've camped here a few times, and the campgrounds are very comfortable. The surrounding area is shaded by trees and the ground is flat, so it's easy to set up tents, and the campgrounds are large enough to fit several tents. The most recent time we stayed at a premium tent site, which was right next to the Fern canyon trailhead, but also had a good amount of privacy and was very comfortable overall.

Trails | Fern Canyon Trail

The Fern Canyon Trail is a major attraction in Van Damme State Park. The trail is 5 miles long from the campground, but you can actually drive to the inner parking lot and take the shorter trail. If you take the long trail, you can follow the creek all the way to Pigmy Forest, which is surrounded by lush green scenery, ferns and trees, and passes by many small waterfalls.

(Note: Due to heavy rains in the early summer of 2023, some of the trails from the campground are still under maintenance. the official websiteConfirmation of trail openness).

Further reading

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