Continuing our occasional look at seven of Fort Bragg’s beautiful beaches tucked in along a 12-mile stretch of Northern California’s Mendocino Coast, we introduce you this time to Jug Handle State Reserve Beach, perhaps the warmest of the seven.
Just two miles south of Fort Bragg city limits, the quarter-mile trail from the parking lot leads you to this quiet gem, where you’ll see people lounging on blankets or beachcombing in their swimsuits. That’s because the water is 52 degrees and the air temperature is 55. This wonderful gift of nature, with its azure water, warm sand, and gentle breeze might fool you into thinking you’re someplace tropical!
Bring some walking shoes and take the Jug Handle Reserve Trail to the 70-acre Hans Jenny Pygmy Forest Reserve. Some of the trees found there grow nowhere else in the world. Jug Handle Reserve Trail may be the only place in the world to see both giants (redwoods) and pygmies (stunted trees) in a single 45-minute forest walk.
Best Picnic Spot: There are great spots just about anywhere along the trail to the Hans Jenny Pygmy Forest.
Getting There: Drive two miles south of the Fort Bragg City Limit on Highway 1, watch for the Jug Handle sign on the right.
Next Up: Last of our seven special beaches — but by no means least — Caspar State Beach