Truth be told, the Adventurers didn’t know they were being smart by heading inland a bit for a hike around the Pygmy Forest and then down Fern Canyon and up a logging road in Van Damme State Park.
The didn’t know about pygmy forests before heading to Mendocino (even though both of them had been in the area numerous times before). So here’s the scoop on this distinct vegetation, according to Mendocino.com:
“This fascinating pygmy forest in Van Damme showcases unique forests of low, stunted trees and shrubs caused by a complex ecological condition associated with underlying wave terraces and their unusual soils. The poor soil fertility and wetness of the soil restricts the growth of vegetation and induces a dwarf condition in many of the plants. These trees may be 100 years old or older. They are able to survive in this soil but they surely do not prosper here.”
They finished the Pygmy Forest quickly and then hiked down the canyon to a creek that’s called Little River. Why a creek is called a river they didn’t understand (and they intend to research.)
What was great was pretty terrain and no dripping fog, even though that is what awaited them when they got back to the coast in Mendocino…
Hike/moderate to easy/4.2 miles