Unbeaten Path Tours to Stornetta National Monument – A Must Do!
Recently, Margaret Lindgren, tour guide and owner of Unbeaten Path Hiking Tours lead me through the wonderland that is our newest national treasure, The Point Arena-Stornetta National Monument. Have you visited it yet?
A New Friend Is Made
What a wonderful day I had with my new friend Margaret Lindgren of Unbeaten Path Hiking Tours in February! After being Facebook buddies for some time we finally moved beyond our virtual reality to become good friends for real. And what better way to do that than by walking together through one of our nation’s newest national treasures – The Point Arena-Stornetta National Monument. Margaret’s Unbeaten Path Hiking Tours of Stornetta was quite a treat during my stay at Abalone Bay. The weather was perfect, the company fabulous, and Margaret’s detailed knowledge of the area- incredible!
Meet Margaret Lindgren Tour Guide Extraordinaire
Unbeaten Path Hiking Tours, owned and operated by Margaret Lindgren, also a resident of Sea Ranch, provides a wide range of tours from easy to challenging, as well as customized tours designed to meet your needs. Her tour with me was infused with not only the history, flora, fauna and the lesser-known trails of this beautiful and unique coastal region but also an unabashed enthusiasm and love of what she does. And what she does is marvelous!
8 Secret Mendonoma Locations To Get Lost In
Unbeaten Path Tours offers eight wonderful tour choices in the Mendonoma area (Northern Sonoma/Southern Mendocino) each with Margaret’s own special secret spots she’ll be happy to share with you. They include (click here to see details):
- Stornetta National Monument
- The Sea Ranch Architectural Tour
- Photographer’s Tour
- Seascapes Tour
- Redwoods and Coastal Views Tour
- Gualala River and Bluffs Tour
- Flora and Fauna Tour
- Bowling Ball Beach Tour
And if those aren’t enough for you can custom design a tour based on your specific needs and interests. For the hearty and fit souls Margaret also offers the Challenge Tour. This tour that takes you through Redwoods, River Hot Spot, and Ridge trails with massive panoramic views of coastline for 7 Miles with many challenging elevation changes of up to 500 feet.
When at Sea Ranch Abalone Bay You Must Tour with Margaret!
For my tour, I opted for an easy half-day walk. The most challenging part of the tour was being distracted by the whales passing by. During our trek through Stornetta each step of the way there was a new discovery for me- and this given I already had a pretty good background on the park and geography of the area…. or so I thought!
But then her background is wide given she also is a:
- Volunteer in the Beach Watch program with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association!
- Proud Member of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association!
- Proud Member of the California Native Plant Society
- Connected and linked with the Sonoma County and Visit Mendocino Tourism websites!
- CTA certified through Sonoma County! Ask us about things to do in Sonoma County!
- Certified Emergency Medical Responder
While we trekked along the way we passed by friends of hers perched along the cliffs observing and counting the birds gathering among the sea stacks a short distance offshore. She too helps with the annual bird count. Then as we continued on we spotted a blue heron keeping watch over the bluff.
The beauty of the Stronetta grounds is they are still untouched with hardly any real pathways developed. As we continued along the way I also appreciated Margaret’s quick and steady hand and helpful pointers as needed when the path became tricky.
Without Margaret’s guidance I know I would have missed such treasures as viewing and feeling a newly developing blowhole (the first step towards a sinkhole which later will develop into a sea stack).
She then showed me examples of others progressing towards what would inevitably be the addition of new sea stacks as the land around them naturally crumbles away.
Our time together was short but exciting. We made a lasting friendship that I look forward to renewing each time I return home to Abalone Bay. But in the meantime, we keep in touch on her Facebook page.
When you come to stay at Abalone Bay be sure you include one or more of the many Unbeaten Path Hiking Tours in your vacation agenda! And if you select the Stornetta Tour, be sure to include time for lunch later at the Lighthouse Pointe Resort, located at the turnoff to the Land Monument.
What to know before booking your Unbeaten Path Tour:
Unbeaten Path Tours: Located in The Sea Ranch, CA 95497
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 707 888 6121
Tours have varying prices, lengths:
*Each tour is Priced PER PERSON
* Durations provided for each tour based on stops for narration, photo opportunities and/or scheduled breaks as required per tour.
* NOTE: Transportation to starting locations is not included.
* Group size limits may apply. Please contact us to inquire specifically about your group size.
*Please see their “check list” link for things you should bring with you on a tour (also listed below).
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR TOUR:
☐ BOTTLE OF WATER
☐ Day pack for camera, water & snacks, etc
☐ The Sea Ranch Hang Tags for the car!!!!!!
☐ A Yummy Snack or Lunch Pack for longer hike
☐ Walking Stick?
☐ Wear good shoes
☐ Scarf, layers of clothing?
Levels of effort as indicated by their “Boots” rating:
- 1 Boot = A moderately easy walk, on pavement or on trails. No significant difficulty with hills.
- 2 Boot = A moderate walk in any setting with some difficult terrain, one or two moderate to substantial hills or steps.
- 3 Boot = A more difficult walk. Most likely in a natural setting with rougher paths and steeper or hilly inclines. Participants with certain health problems should take caution.
- 4 Boot = A very difficult walk. Many steep hills or high altitude trails, or very rough, uneven terrain, steep or unstable inclines. Distance is normally greater than 8 miles. Not suitable for any person who is not in good health.
You will be requested to sign a release form prior to taking a tour.
Once you have booked your tour, Margaret will discuss arrangements for meet-ups at the location you have discussed.
What to know about Point Arena- Stornetta National Monument
- The California Coastal National Monument was established by Presidential Proclamation on January 11, 2000, under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and is comprised of over 20,000 rocks and small islands spread along the 1,100 mile California coastline.
- The Point Arena-Stornetta Unit includes 1,665 acres of Federal land administered by the BLM along the Northern California coastline.
- Situated along the rugged Mendocino County coastline just north of the town of Point Arena the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands are a unique and spectacular area that includes access to 12 coastal miles of undeveloped federal and state-managed public lands, coastal bluffs, the estuary of the Garcia River, sandy beaches and dunes, and adjacent small islands accessible during low tide.
- One good trailhead is along the road to the lighthouse. Park where it makes a big bend to the right; look for a bulletin board and portable toilet (though I recommend you make a pit-stop at the Lighthouse Pointe Resort facilities first). Walk south along the tops of sea cliffs as far as the Point Arena pier. Another trailhead is at City Hall. Head through the trees straight toward the ocean.
- The diverse habitats found on this coastline provide a critical refuge for a number of threatened and endangered species including the Point Arena mountain beaver, the western snowy plover, Behren’s silverspot butterfly, and California red-legged frog.
- Under interim management rules, people can use the area for daytime activities including wildlife viewing, hiking, bird watching, fishing, picnicking, nature photography and public access to the Mendocino Coast.
- Motor vehicles, bicycles, horses, and overnight camping will be prohibited, pending a final management plan. The nearby Stornetta Brothers Ranch buildings and 579-acre agricultural conservation easement are not open to the public. Currently, dogs are permitted off-leash but this may change soon.
- Parking is permitted along Lighthouse (County) Road at pull-outs. Porta-toilets are provided. No water is available. Parking is also available at the Point Arena City Hall. Limited parking is permitted at the end of Miner Hole (County) Road; however, the road is currently closed to vehicles approximately .1 mile from Highway 1.