Jug Handle State Natural Reserve
On the rugged Mendocino Coast, Jug Handle State Natural Reserve beckons visitors with spectacular ocean views, peaceful forests, and a hike through half a million years of ecological history. The reserve’s 2.5-mile Ecological Staircase Trail explores three wave-cut terraces formed by the continental glaciers, rising seas, and tectonic plates that built the Coast Range. Few places on earth display a more complete record of how geology, soils, and plants change over time.Bisected by Highway One, the reserve lies halfway between the towns of Fort Bragg and Mendocino. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean into Jackson Demonstration State Forest, three miles inland, where the highest steps of the ecological staircase lie.