Mendocino Headlands State Park with its unique blend of gentle trails, rugged coastline, secluded beaches and timeless history surrounds the picturesque Village of Mendocino on three sides. Miles of trails wind along the cliffs, giving the casual explorer spectacular views of sea arches and hidden grottos.
In any season, a visit to the Mendocino Headlands will provide a memorable experience. You might come to see the spring wildflowers, enjoy a crisp and clear fall day, escape to a cool summer climate or witness the winter migration of grey whale. The park provides Mendocino with a buffer area that preserves the town's historical presence. In return, the town provides a view of a unique blend of natural, ecological, cultural and social diversity. Activities range from hiking and surfing to fishing. Photographers and painters frequently visit various parts of Mendocino Headlands enjoying and capturing the scenic wonders. There are no camping facilities; visitors are day users only.
The Historic Ford House is a museum located on Main Street in Mendocino and is the Visitors Center for the Mendocino Headlands State Park. The Ford House provides current and historic information about to Mendocino visitors. It has a scale model exhibit of the Mendocino in 1890, built by local craftsman Len Peterson and the Museum offers a number of videos for viewing with topics ranging from the great migration of the gray whales to the steam whistle logging era of the early Twentieth Century. All videos are presented upon request and at no charge. Jerome B. Ford had the house built for his bride, Martha, in 1854. Ford was the superintendent of the first sawmill in Mendocino and is credited by many as being the founder of the city.
Exhibits at the Ford House carry the visitor back to another era. Throughout the house, are historic photographs, tools and relics that tell the story from the felling of the redwoods to the shipping of the lumber aboard the legendary doghole schooners. There is a small display of California Indian implements and seasonal exhibits on the local flora and fauna. Interpretive walks are led by docents and they also provide weekend lectures on area wildlife. The Mendocino Area Parks Association operates the Historic Ford House.