JACKSON STATE FOREST
Jackson is the largest of CAL FIRE's eight demonstration state forests. Located in the middle of California's coastal redwood region, on the western edge of Mendocino County at Fort Bragg. The area has a long history of industrial logging activity, which began in 1862 and continued under private ownership until the State's purchase of the property in 1947. Today, more forest growth occurs each year than is harvested. The most common tree on the forest is coast redwood, but visitors will also find Douglas fir, grand fir, hemlock, bishop pine, tanoak, alder, madrone and bay myrtle.
Three demonstration trails have been developed with trail guides to inform visitors about the ecology, history and management of the redwood forest. There are also numerous hiking trails situated in historically and ecologically interesting settings, such as the Waterfall Grove Trail and the Forest History Trail. Recreational activities include camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, swimming and picnicking. Maps of the forest can be purchased at our office in Fort Bragg.
Seasonal camping is offered mid-May through September, weather dependent. There are two main overnight camping areas with a number of campsites, including equestrian camps. Camping is within designated campsites only i.e., dispersed camping is not allowed. Camping fees are collected at self-registration stations located in the campgrounds. Camping fees will be used to support the recreation program including costs associated with maintenance and improvement of campgrounds and facilities, signage, roads, trails, etc. Campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. Campers may collect dead wood lying on the ground for use within their campfire rings. There is no water at the campsites or day use areas. Pets are allowed but must be on a leash.
Hunting is allowed in season. No fishing is allowed per CA Department of Fish and Wildlife rules. Permits are required for firewood cutting and mushroom harvesting. Contact our office 707 964-5674 for questions related to recreation events requiring Special Use Permits such as organized bike and equestrian rides and races.
Jackson State Forest is a forested area located in Mendocino County, California. The forest has a rich history that dates back to the mid-19th century.
In the mid-1800s, the land now known as Jackson State Forest was acquired by Henry Franklin Jackson, an entrepreneur from Maine. Jackson was one of the first to recognize the region's potential for timber industry development. He originally intended to establish a lucrative logging operation on the land, but his plans were partially impeded by the steep slopes and rugged terrain.
By the late 1800s, Jackson had sold parts of the land to the Union Lumber Company, which was the largest lumber company in the Mendocino County at that time. The company began extensive logging operations in the area, constructing railroads to access and transport the timber. The extraction of redwood trees, in particular, played a significant role in the economy of the region during this period.
However, concerns about the depletion of the region's forests grew with time. By the early 20th century, conservation efforts began to take shape. Green Diamond Resource Company, formerly known as the California Redwood Company, was one of the organizations involved in these efforts. They acquired a substantial portion of the land in the 1940s and practiced sustainable forestry.
In 1949, a significant portion of the Jackson forest, consisting of around 48,700 acres, was purchased by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), establishing the Jackson State Forest. This acquisition aimed to protect the remaining redwood and Douglas fir stands and to promote sustainable timber management practices.
In the following decades, Jackson State Forest has been managed by CAL FIRE, focusing on a sustainable approach to logging and timber harvesting. The forest is also used for various recreational activities, including hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, and hunting.
Jackson State Forest remains an important resource for timber production, while concurrently serving as a recreational area. It continues to play a vital role in the local economy, providing employment opportunities and valuable timber products, while conserving and protecting the natural environment.
1. Camp One Campground: This campground is located on the South Fork of the Noyo River and offers 15 campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets.
2. Woodlands Group Campsite: A group campsite that can accommodate up to 50 people at a time; it's perfect for large gatherings or events.
3. Big River Haul Road Camping Area: It provides primitive camping options along Big River in Jackson State Forest where you may set up your tent anywhere within this area as long as it does not impact sensitive resources such as streams or wildlife habitat areas.
4. Chamberlain Creek Waterfall Trailhead Primitive Camping Site: Located near Fort Bragg, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated moderate difficulty level trail offering number of activity options including hiking & bird watching etc.,.
5. Horse Mountain Creek Dispersed Camping Sites: These are free dispersed sites scattered throughout Horse mountain creek region inside forest which provide rustic experience without amenities like water supply, restrooms etc but offer solitude amidst nature.
6. Jackson Demonstration State Forest Headquarters Tenting Grounds:.
Located right next to headquarters building these grounds allow setting tents overnight providing easy access to trails starting from here.
7. Mendocino Woodland Outdoor Center Cabins/Campgrounds:.
Though technically outside state forest boundary yet very close by they have cabins accommodating upto eight persons each besides having three separate campgrounds named Redwood,Creekside& Meadowood catering different needs/preferences .
8. Van Damme Beach Frontage Park: Just south-east edge bordering JDSF has beach front park allowing RV/tent camping overlooking Pacific ocean while being surrounded by lush greenery around making unique combination rarely found elsewhere!