6 Of the Best Mendocino Trails for Hiking and Biking

close up of a hiker’s shoes with the ocean in the distance

Not only are we surrounded by numerous Mendocino trails that are perfect for exploring, we are fortunate to have a perfect climate for getting outside! Exploring Northern California’s incredible and vast trail systems is a beloved activity for locals and visitors alike.

Mendocino’s diverse terrain includes winding hills, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs that allow backpackers, hikers, and cyclists to see Northern California in a completely new light. The weather is mild and enjoyable all year long, so our guests are able to have a wonderful outdoor experience during all four seasons.

Our Favorite Mendocino Trails

Our luxurious Little River bed and breakfast is just a short drive from fantastic hiking and biking locations and is the perfect place to lay your head after a day spent exploring Mendocino trails. Here are some of our favorites!

1. Van Damme State Park

Featuring both beach and upland on the Mendocino coast, Van Damme State Park is home to the Fern Canyon scenic trail system, the Mendocino Pygmy Forest, and even a bog where skunk cabbage grows. Our guests especially enjoy this park because it surrounds Glendeven Inn and the Inn at the Cobbler’s Walk on three sides. Right off the grounds, you can walk to the headlands to the west of us, the wooded trails along Van Damme’s Fern Canyon to the east, and south to Van Damme beach, which is right out the front door of our Beach Trail Cottage!

2. Russian Gulch State Park

The stunning Russian Gulch State Park is known for the heavily forested Russian Gulch Creek Canyon, which has a large, collapsed sea cave filled with churning water, a beautiful beach, and a 36-foot high waterfall. Here, guests can enjoy miles of scenic hiking trails and bikers can follow a paved three-mile bicycle trail. With breathtaking views and exciting recreational activities, you’re sure to enjoy a day spent at this State Park.

3. Big River Haul Road

Deemed “Mendocino’s Favorite Walk,” this picturesque road is ideal for all levels of walkers, hikers, joggers, and bikers. Guests are welcome to explore Big River Haul Road and the numerous connecting trails which are perfect for an extended hike! Those looking for a more serious Mendocino backpacking trip can make their way along the remnants of the road, ten miles into the serene Mendocino Woodlands.

4. Headlands Beach State Park

One of the best places for Mendocino coast hiking, this California State Park is known for miles of cliff trails that give guests spectacular views of sea arches and hidden grottos. Because of its immense beauty, the park often attracts photographers and painters who wish to capture the scenic wonders of the California coast. Enjoy a leisurely walk or heart-pumping bike ride, and don’t forget to bring a camera!

5. Montgomery Woods State Park

To see the magnificent California Redwoods firsthand, be sure to visit Montgomery Woods State Park. Hikers and bikers can take a three-mile looped trail that follows Montgomery Creek, where they’ll see several species of redwood trees including the Sierra Redwood and the Cost Redwood. You’re guaranteed to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience out in the California wilderness.

6. Jug Handle Natural Reserve

At this unique reserve, guests are invited to travel through a 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail where they can explore five terraces formed by glacial, oceanic, and tectonic activity. Each level of these fascinating terraces was uplifted from sea level 100,000 years before the one below it! At Jug Handle Natural Reserve, hikers and bikers will enjoy experiencing the power and awe of mother nature.

Start Planning Your Trip!

Spending the day on these trails is one of our guests’ favorite things to do in Mendocino. After a fun-filled day exploring Northern California, come home to total comfort and relaxation in one of our charming rooms or suites!

At the Inns of Glendeven, our wonderful accommodations and expert recommendations for activities in Mendocino will give you the best California vacation ever.

Torrey Douglass