California Coast: Pomo Bluffs in Fort Bragg

Pomo Bluffs Park is a 25-acre blufftop park at Todds Point, on the south side of Noyo Bay/Noyo Harbor inlet in Fort Bragg. People come here to stroll a level trail that provides unobstructed views of the ocean and mouth of the Noyo River and the harbor entrance, with benches and interpretive panels along the way. Among the few plants that thrive in the harsh coastal conditions here are Coast eriogonum, Pacific gum plant, and seaside daisy. They tolerate the high winds, salt spray, heavy rains, and long hours of exposure to sun. They also help to keep the bluffs from eroding by holding soil in place with their roots. If you had been standing on this bluff some 200 years ago, you would have seen ancient redwood forest covering the hills to the east, and to the north, across the mouth of the Noyo River channel, a Pomo kadiu, or main village. Today we learn about this history from interpretive panels. Locals refer to the bluff as Chicken Point because would-be seafarers often came here to check the weather and see if the ocean looked safe enough to venture out; if it didn’t, they might “chicken out.”

Pomo Bluffs
see access criteria for definitions
Trailhead: East end of parking lot
Length: Less than .5 mile
Typical Width: 4 ft. & above
Typical Grade: Level
Terrain: Hard

Description

On my visit, the classic seashore sounds of clanking buoys, crashing waves, and a melancholy foghorn made me feel as if I had stepped into the pages of a novel or the canvas of a painting. The bluff trail heads east along the Noyo River channel, providing excellent views of the harbor, where you can see boats navigating the channel. A few houses are scattered along the grassy bluff, but otherwise the views in all directions are unobstructed. To the northwest are intriguing views of sea stacks, the bedrock bases of sandy bluffs that have been washed away. You might also catch a glimpse of gray whales during their migration season, December to April. Along the trail you may encounter residents walking their dogs or visitors staying at a small RV park at its most eastern end; I spent an unexpected but enjoyable amount of time here chatting with friendly locals. At pullouts you’ll find benches and interpretive panels about the local Pomo people and the role the redwoods played in the development of the North Coast. I found plenty of opportunity to linger.

Accessibility Details
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Accessible ParkingYes
At foot of Cliff Way
Accessible RestroomYes
At east end of parking lot

Additional Information
Hours:
Sunrise to Sunset
Map: See here.
Fees: None
Dogs: On a leash

Bonnie Lewkowicz Bonnie Lewkowicz (59 Posts)

I has worked for more than 30 years advocating for, and educating about access to outdoor recreation and tourism for people with disabilities. I hold a degree in Recreation Therapy and was a travel agent specializing in accessible travel for many years. In this capacity, and now as Associate Director at Wheelchair Traveling, I consult with the travel industry about accessibility, conducts disability awareness trainings and writes about travel and outdoor recreation. I also authored a book titled, A Wheelchair Rider's Guide: San Francisco Bay and the Nearby Coast, about accessible trails and has produced several access guides to San Francisco. My most current project is a website of accessible trails along the entire California Coast (www.wheelingcalscoast.org). My extensive experience as a wheelchair rider combined with her professional experience has provided me with in-depth knowledge about inclusive tourism and outdoor recreation.


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