It doesn't matter if you're looking for a long hike, short hike, easy hike, or one with some amazing views, because the Noyo Headlands Coastal Trail has it all. The gorgeous coastal terrain mixes a number of habitats to make a unique area that can be accessed along an asphalt trail that stays even with lows grades and a 5-foot girth.
The trail is in the Noyo Headlands Park, a shoreline park with over 50 acres of land along the water, with beaches, cliffs, grasslands, and plenty of vegetation, backed by the urban downtown area of Fort Bragg. The beginning of the trail starts at the southern portion of the park, near a parking area that overlooks the confluence of the Noyo River flowing into the sea. The best part about the beginning of this trail is that it runs right past an off-leash area for dogs known as Noyo Beach Off Leash Dog Area. The small off-leash area offers hikers the chance to play with Fido and stock up on water, clean-up bags, and use the bathroom.
The trail travels north and has plenty of landmarks to see, from unmarked dog-friendly beaches, a cemetery, and views of the old Noyo Harbor. The trail follows along mostly cliffsides, where hikers can get an elevated view of the water colliding with the rocks below. Along the way, hikers will come across multiple rest areas, with 4 different restroom stops, benches, picnic tables, and trash bins. Although the park is not known for its wildlife, you'll still get a chance to see geese, foxes, and beavers frolicking through the open grasslands.
The end of the trail connects to a paved parking area along West Elm Street, where there are water fountains, restrooms, and trash bins. You and Fido can take a side hike through town, or double back to get back to your car. Even after a second viewing of this pretty area, you'll realize it will be hard not to come for more thanks to the peaceful, quiet, and rural beauty of the path.